McLuhan and Power

Marshal McLuhan's “The median is the message” informs the reader that the median in which information is shared is more important than the actual message it carries. What is said is less important than the way in which it was said so how information is shared is more important than the actual information itself. The reason the median is more significant is because it is an extension of ourselves, McLuhan stated “The personal and social consequences of any median- that is, of any extension of ourselves- result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology”(McLuhan) How a message is sent is reflective of the sender because that message is an extension of the sender. For example, light is a median without any information, but acts as one of the strongest medians because without light we would only be able to access a small part of the day.

The method one uses to send a message creates an environment carrying a tone and deeper meaning. Although the information carried is of importance, how one interprets the message depends on how it is understood. McLuhan refers to the technology used to convey a message as an extension of one’s physical and nervous systems. As technology changes, communication changes around it; this creates change in society. People have to adapt to the new method of communication, this shows the power media has over society. With the creation of text and other social media platforms, people change their abilities to communicate to accommodate the median.

McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q., & Agel, J. (1967). The medium is the massage. New York: Bantam Books.

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