Marshall McLuhan’s aphorism ‘the medium is the message’ was introduced to the world in 1967, in his book mistakenly titled by the print company as, ‘the medium is the massage’. McLuhan’s point expressed in his book till stands true today, he argues that the impact of the medium itself is more significant than the content it carries.
For example, the internet has become a global village where there is content readily available for anyone and everyone. Looking at the internet understanding McLuhan’s idea and theory, the significance of the internet is not in it’s readiness of content, but instead because it has created a world where content is expected to be immediate and endless.
‘Understanding Me: Lectures and Interviews’ is a book of McLuhan’s unpublished lectures and interviews which explain many of his theories, and ideas. Included in this book is a detailed example of ‘the medium is the message’. In this example, he explains that a “…motor car is not a medium. The medium is the highway…” his analogy describes the car as a “...FIGURE in a GROUND of services. It’s when you change the GROUND that you change the car“as the car does not operate as the medium, but as one of the effects of the medium.
“The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium / that is, of any extension of ourselves / result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, by any new technology”
– Marshall McLuhan