Thursday, October 29, 2009

Medium, Message, McLuhan

Back to thinking about the article from yesterday. The "how" or medium through which we receive the message or view the media affects our perception of the content.

I found the following slide show recently and tagged it as something to share, just for the name of it if nothing else. Now it, like many other things has been sitting on the back burner in the nether regions of my mind simmering away.

I wonder what McLuhan would have made of the modern internet and the social objects it has spawned in view of his light bulb analogy, where a bulb, though void of information content, is a medium that has the effect of lighting the night and thus creating a social effect of allowing people to congregate in what would otherwise have been a dark space. The simple presence the lit bulb creates a new environment.

In examining traditional media in their traditional medium, news on TV, is the newscast really about the news stories or is it about us? As consumers of the news we have allowed ourselves to accept that watching horrific news at supper-time with the children is perfectly reasonable thing to do. The story the news tells is not so much about the horrors of the world but about the changes in what we deem acceptable behavior on our part. The content of the newscast has distracted us and in turn has changed the structure of our daily lives in the past 50 years.

The internet has already changed the structure of our daily lives. It has changed our business norms and our social interactions and how we gather information. The interesting thing about the internet as the slide show demonstrates, is how it has affected our consumption of traditional media in their traditional mediums. The internet will continue to change society in ways that we can not yet understand or see.


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