The Medium is the Message

This week we have discussed in class about “the early thinkers and scientists” of media. Marshall McLuhan’s book¬†Understanding Media¬†is a key contribution to this study. One of the most influential parts of his book is the first chapter “The Medium is the Message.” What I learned from this chapter is that there is no message without a medium. The content of any medium is always another medium, as stated on the second page of the chapter. McLuhan gives the explanation that the content of writing is speech and writing is the content of print. Without one the other doesn’t exist. The medium is viable in order for the message to be presented. He uses a lightbulb as an example of a medium that does not have a message, until it is used to illuminate something such as an advertisement or name on a building. This means that the lightbulb on its own has no content, but when it is paired with another medium such as speech or writing or thought, it becomes the message.


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