#BCM112 Me(me)dium Overload

The dreaded words: THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE (Say what?)

Although it is often difficult to understand this concept, due to its abstract and philosophical background, it is one of the most important and interesting concepts in communication studies. It shows the interdependent relationship between what the message is and how it is communicated and, ultimately, perceived by audiences.

Halliedominick (2012) uses an easy historical reference to condense the idea of this, first created by Marshall McLuhan:

“The wheel is our medium and the action of it rolling is the message. Our message is motion. Motion is of no use without the wheel. We view motion as it is through the rolling of the wheel”

McLuhan felt the medium was more important than the message itself as it could be the deciding factor between whether your message was received by the audiences or not, and how it was perceived. As the quote states, there is no use for a message without a medium. Mediums allow for a broader scale of both audience and understanding and in modern life, everything is a medium-shoes, shirts, bags. (Think of any modern item, it will communicate a message to you, somehow)

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The nature of mediums has changed dramatically due to the rapid increase of internet activity and the creation of ‘memes’ as a medium. Memes have shown how people can use different mediums for some controversial topics in a simple form and how they can reach a wider audience.

Memes are defined as: ” a pervasive thought or thought pattern that replicates itself via cultural means; a parasitic code, a virus of the mind especially contagious to children and the impressionable ” (emme, 2003). They are used for multiple reasons and can help generate, alter and demonstrate issues within society in comedic quick pieces of information, that have some underlying meaning that audiences will begin to question. They are effective mediums for quick and easy communication and their simple formatting allows everyone to engage in them, making them an even more powerful medium of choice.

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Reference list:

halliedominick, 2012, What Does “The Medium Is The Message” Really Mean?, HDOMINICK, blog post,  viewed 15th March 2017, https://blogs.lt.vt.edu/halliedominick/2012/02/28/what-does-the-medium-is-the-message-really-mean/

emme, 2003, MEME, urban dictionary, viewed 15th March 2017, http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=meme

8 thoughts on “#BCM112 Me(me)dium Overload

  1. I’m struggling so hard trying to think of what to write for this topic, but I found your post quite helpful! Especially the quote of the wheel, that metaphor helped drive it home. Do you have any other mediums other than memes that could work? I was thinking of basing my post around television but I think that’s too broad after you specified memes. – V

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! I know, that quote helped me a lot as well. I still think television is a good medium to use, maybe instead of talking about it in the context of 2017, talk about it when it was first released and the impact that it made as a medium back then? If that makes sense? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed your blog.I felt that the information that you provided was useful. It is good that you found a content that has links to the lecture material and that you took the topic and did your own work with that particular subject and evaluate it. furthermore, I was impressed with the use of words being bigger and use of the different font that created attention on the sentences that were important among the complete blog.

    Like

  3. I love the way you explored this via the consumption and understanding of memes – also brilliant title, I love a good pun.

    The way you described the medium is the message was incredibly helpful, as you actually went into the connotations and necessary in depth explanations – needed in order to understand this concept fully. This was really summed up via the line:

    “McLuhan felt the medium was more important than the message itself as it could be the deciding factor between whether your message was received by the audiences or not, and how it was perceived. As the quote states, there is no use for a message without a medium.”

    Although I understand this topic at times it’s hard to put into words. So thank you so much for creating such a well written and explained blog piece.

    Like

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