The McLuhan Hypothesis

Philosopher Marshall McLuhan states that people adapt to their environment through a certain balance or ratio of their senses, and the primary medium of the age brings out a particular sense ratio. McLuhan sees every medium as an extension of some human faculty, with the media of communication thus exaggerating this or that particular sense. In his words, “The wheel…is an extension of the foot. The book is an extension of the eye… Clothing, an extension of the skin…Electric circuitry, an extension of the central nervous system”. Whatever predominates media will influence human beings by affecting the way they perceive the world.—[Reference]

The Medium is the Message

McLuhan is especially insistent that an analysis of media content is meaningless—misses the point—since it is the medium which carries the lion’s share of the communication. Simply put, the medium affects the body and the psyche in relatively unconscious ways; thus it is more powerful than the message, which largely appeals to the conscious mind. By placing all the stress on content and practically none on the medium, we lose all chance of perceiving and influencing the impact of new technologies on man, and thus we are always dumbfounded by—and unprepared for—the revolutionary environmental transformations induced by new media.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s