The Medium is the what?

The Medium is the Message. In the words of Marshall McLuhan, a message is “the change of scale or pace or pattern” and the medium is “any extension of ourselves”, but  how do they relate?

kanye gif

In our ever-changing technological era, the focus is generally placed on the messages we receive from the media as a whole. Every day we take in new information and disperse our own interpretations of it. But the way in which we are presented this information is a lot more important than many would think.

Take Twitter for example. The online platform has over 330 million monthly users, approximately 1.8 billion less than Facebook. But why does Twitter have so many less? Twitter’s format attracts a different, smaller demographic than Facebook, primarily because of its short, straight-to-the-point way of communicating.

But what does this have to do with ‘the Medium is the Message’? The medium of Twitter dictates the way messages are portrayed on the platform. Everything from the character limit to the ability to add gifs to a ‘tweet’ appeals to a specific market, whom best use this particular medium to their advantage.  If it was freeform, allowing longer posts like Facebook, well, it wouldn’t be Twitter anymore would it? It would simply become lost amongst the thousands of other communication platforms across the internet.

To me, the medium in which we communicate our individual messages really is an extension of ourselves, even if sometimes we wish it wasn’t.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x