The Medium Is the Message.
"The medium is the message" is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in any message it would transmit or convey, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.1
Marshall McLuhan bore witness to the evolution of modern communications but, left us (December, 1980) just before the most expansive change that would forever change communication as we knew it. McLuhan put tremendous stock in the fact that the way a message was delivered was as much a statement as the content being delivered. My focus is the fact that we have become a society of instant gratification.
As late as 1982, Philadelphia had a Morning Newspaper (The Philadelphia Inquirer), and an afternoon paper (The Evening Bulletin). The Inquirer also had as many has 5 printings throughout the day with the D Star Being the latest and the final word for the morning. If the Newspaper wasn't as current as you would like, one could wait for the local evening news at 6:00 PM or the National News at 6:30 (Unless there was news that warranted a "SPECIAL REPORT" break in your soap opera or that episode of All In The Family), and if that wasn't fast enough, all you had to do was to turn on the All News AM radio station to here the minute by minute updates. Each of these different delivery methods were as much a message in their own right as the content they were delivering.
Today's content delivery methods continue to be as much a part of the message as the content itself.
- Want to let people know about an event coming up or distribute a new creative endeavor?
- Post it on your website
- Send it in a marketing email
- Mention it in a discussion board.
- Create a Youtube video
- Want to make a timely important announcement?
- Post it on Facebook
- Post it to Twitter
- Want to warn people about a storm or crisis?
- Call them on their cellphone
- Text them through an SMS service
Each of the above have varying degrees of impact in how your social media posts are received / perceived. Next time we will follow up with McLuhan's concept of the Global Village, and the reach of your message.
(1)Federman, M. (2004, July 23). What is the Meaning of the Medium is the Message? Retrieved <10/04/2017> from http://individual.utoronto.ca/markfederman/article_mediumisthemessage.htm .