As Kenneth Slessor once said “Time flows past them like a hundred yachts”. Time is inevitable and continues to transcend, thus as evolution progresses societal and technological change occur in order to coincide with humanities growth. This is formally explained through Marshall McLuhan’s theory “the medium is the message”.
After several days I have finally grasped this concept. McLuhan breaks down this into two parts; the ‘medium’ and the ‘message’. McLuhan first explains the ‘message’, describing it as being “the change of scare or pace or pattern” that a new innovation brings into society. He brings to light that the ‘message’ is not the ‘medium’ itself where as it is more a reflection of societies attitude towards and encourages us too look beyond the obvious and seek the unknown. An example would be documentaries, whilst it is a form of entertainment and education it also serves as a platform for the individual and showcase their lives to a wider audience giving access to a micro perspective rather than a macro perspective such as magazine ‘gossip’. The ‘medium’ is how we tangibly communicate this ‘message’ and showcasing change such as radio or television.
Due to the evolution of society both culturally and socially this concept of ‘medium’ needs to progressively ‘advance’, in order to coincide with the modernization of humanity. Therefore affecting the ‘message’ that is conveyed through these significant creations. Telecommunication began as an experiment creating ‘electrochemical’ telegraphy, which was able to convey a message comprised of Latin numerals and numbers that was sent a few kilometers away. Progressively through time the telephone was introduced and allowed communication between different cities and eventually other parts of the world. In 1973 the first mobile phone was invented which was a branch from the traditional telephone, as it became portable and eased the way communicating occurred.
When comparing the very first mobile phone to todays latest Samsung or iPhone 6, its evolution is remarkable. The latest iPhone now incorporates a camera, GPS and the Internet, which highlights the convergence of different media technologies. Some would say that the ‘iPhone makes life easier’ as it has numerous different functions that apply to our everyday lives, and lessen the gadgets we need to carry in order to complete daily tasks.
Until looking into Marshall McLuhan’s theory of “medium is the message”, I have never formally noticed the drastic changes such mediums have throughout society and how each one conveys a different message and brings to light the ‘non-obvious’. “Control over change would seem to consist in moving not with it but ahead of it. Anticipation gives the power to deflect and control force” (p.199)