The Medium is the Message

The paradoxical statement proposed by Marshall McLuhan that in fact it is the form (or ‘medium’) of a communication platform rather than its content (or ‘message’), allows passive media audiences such as ourselves to detect converging trajectories which, as a result of changing mediums, demonstrate the emergence of new messages. McLuhan proposed that “the personal and social consequences of any medium… results from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs”. This completely contradicts the previously assumed notion that in a culture “long accustomed to splitting and dividing all things as a means of control”, I guess the message itself was the message? But what makes this process of convergence so relevant today? This non-linear and seemingly relentless force that renders us impotent in our media saturated surroundings… or does it? As a matter of fact, I think there actually might an element of control that we as an audience can exert to influence this movement.

Allow me to explain.

Put simply, before the modern era, the media realm was dominated by numerous large organisations who very much controlled the output of content. Today, I think more often than not, we find ourselves immersed in a much more intricate system whereby we are able to somewhat drive technological change by responding to and augmenting content to suit other purposes. We, as the modern generation are equipped with a higher level of technological tools available to a broader scope of people which facilitates this practice of convergence.


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