What is Media? Media is a collective term used for mass communication which has the power to change, build, break, store and deliver data. Marshall McLuhan’s work “Understanding Media” is not only one of the most dominating books regarding media, but it also portrays the brutal reality of what exactly does medium have to offer? Even though the book was written back in 1964 and McLuhan had no opportunity to experience the internet like we do today, a lot of ideas written by him still seem to fit the media generation today.
Let’s start with the most famous quote by him “Medium is the Message”. By this quote, Marshall McLuhan enforced the idea that the understanding of the message solely depends on the choice of medium. To break it down lets look at an example which revolves around the medium of films. Films are sorted with a beginning, a plot and the ending which is often a message to the viewers. However, the unfolding of story, the creation of the movie and the authenticity of development of the phases in the film and other important components are all determined by the the medium (film) and not the message. Similarly, if we take websites in consideration it will be completely different from the example aforementioned. Websites in context have different ways to achieve its aim i.e its broken down to pages, sections etc which changes the experience of the medium substantially. Hence, by the quote “Medium is the Message” Marshall McLuhan wanted to bring to light the fact that with the newer innovation of technology we tend to focus on what’s obvious and forget about the unintended consequences which means that the change in society or culture conditions indicates the presence of a new message- “effects of new medium”
Marshall McLuhan further coined the term “Global Village” and predicted that the world would be a village put together through the mode of technology and the experiences shared by one could be shared by many. According to me, this is the truest it could get. Today, we can connect with thousands of other people only through a series of social media. Yes, global village has it’s advantages and disadvantages but that doesn’t change the fact that we aren’t a part of it. In order to be a part of the global village we’ve put our privacy at stake but we can extend our help to those who need it. It is through this evolution of technology that the people all around the world are standing together for what’s socially wrong.
To conclude, McLuhan saw the world in the light of technology and predicted exactly how it is today. It was him who discovered the changing media with the changing times and it is through his research we get to see the product of evolution that is, the internet today.