Reflection on Medium is the Message

The blog post, “Painfully Coming to Grips with ‘The Medium is the Message’, ” by virtualworldnmfsfall discusses their troubles with the reading of two excerpts written by Marshall McLuhan as the author of the post cannot follow along with the reading. However, the author found that his fellow classmates in the seminar were just as confused and the author was relieved that he was not the only one. Luckily, there was a discussion held in SecondLife that helped in clarifying the context of the readings and the author was thrilled a discussion was able to be held to guide him in understanding the excerpts.

The author then discusses one of McLuhan’s readings and how it outlines the way we process and interpret information. At the beginning of time, humans used verbal communication to learn from one another, but over time with the alphabet we then were able to communicate on visual context. We can learn through seeing, hearing, and also doing.

The main point the author discusses in a reading on McLuhan is McLuhan’s opinion that we over-analyze content and ignore the way something is presented. He uses an example of a picture of a family eating at a dinner table and how people would interpret the content of the picture. What is the family discussing? Are they a close family? Things of that nature. McLuhan states that we should think about the medium in which the picture is presented. Is it a photograph? An oil painting? A water color? And so on and so forth. He claims that the content actually distracts you from what is happening technologically. His quote about content states “content is the piece of juicy red meat that is carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind” which pretty shows that the meat (content) is not important in this scenario because the burglar is getting away from the dog. The meat is irrelevant to what is actually going on. I like how he phrased that and it makes sense. In simple scenarios like that it is easy to agree with him, but their probably are hundreds of things humans miss by looking at the content and not the medium.

Then the author talks about how media is an extension of ourselves.It is how we can express our views and who we are. Just as the author said he is extending himself by writing his blog and us reading it, I am doing the same for anyone reading my blogs. Pretty cool way for him to catch my attention.


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