Medium is the message

The concept of ‘the medium is the message’ is hard to grapple with sometimes. What does it mean? Isn’t the message the message? What does the medium have to do with it? Well, you can thank good ole Marshal McLuhan for this concept. Pretty much what is being said, (attempting to explain) is …changes in the medium changes the message. The medium being used influences how the message will be understood. So the medium in which we choose to communicate holds just as much value as the message itself, maybe even more.

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When you are providing the same content but with two different mediums it ultimately changes the message that is received. The audience experiences the content in entirely different ways.

For example, a FILM provides a linear experience. There is a beginning, a middle and end. The storyline and character development unfolds over a timeline to get to the conclusion. Swapping mediums to a WEBSITE the content has to be adapted to suit and the experience changes dramatically. Instead, all the back stories and character traits would be separated into different pages and tabs. It is not the same linear experience. Technology advancements have also changed. Take music for example, it used to be very immobile, you couldn’t change or skip it. Now there are countless ways of listening to music. The cassette tape you could only listen to it song after song but then it was replaced by the CD and all the way forward we have Spotify with different playlists and ways of listening. Artists have to adapt their own music to suit these mediums resulting in the message being altered.

 

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