|laws of media probes|
Medium is the Message
There are many different ways to take (or "put on") McLuhan's famous phrase "The Medium is the Message." I believe the idea very important because each medium or artifact effects the culture, the environment that we live in. Some more strongly than others. Here are two examples.
Picture Is Not 1000 Words
While a picture may be worth a thousand works, a picture is not 1000 words. A picture communicates in ways that words can not. Words can can tell a story or describe data that a picture can not. In other words, each medium has its bias and limitations and that is important. When one medium obsolesce another medium we lose something in the translation - we can no longer say something that we use to be able to say. We should use all media with an awareness of the limitations on how we communicate. Sound byte
While you can turn your television off, you can not escape its influence. Even if you don't watch tv, you'll still see "As Advertised on TV" in stores. You'll still buy at prices influenced by television ads. The packaging will still be made to look good on tv. You'll still go to stores made possible by national television. Even if you don't watch tv, your neighbor may make their living selling tvs. Another who use to sell advertising for an afternoon newspaper (25 years ago) now sells tv ads. The union steward now works in a "plant" producing shows. And the Super Bowl is now bigger than the World Series. The influence of tv is more than just programs.
This is the service environment that any artifact needs. Look at the service environment that the internet created. Everyone was influenced by the internet stock market bubble, even if they never surfed the web. This is just another way where the medium is more than the message.
These are just two of the influences of any medium which combined are more important than the message.
Author: Ray Daly