The way each media communicates with their audience is crucial.The information they convey to audiences can be unintentionally or intentionally changed by the way its presented, and in turn how each audience perceives it. This can be known as‘The medium is the message’.For example, say your having a conversation with a friend about a topic, this environment would generally be a comfortable, laid back one.Now place yourself into a lecture hall and think about the lecturer talking to you about the same topic. As the audience you no longer have that laid back connection with the person providing the information and you receive the information differently. In this case the lecturer and the lecture hall itself would be the medium and change the message. And the medium when discussing topics with a friend would be the person themselves.
Over the years, we have seen media evolve through a wide range of mediums, from print to television to the Internet. Each one of these mediums has its own unique characteristics, much like the individuals that use them. Therefore to understand how we can interact with each medium and get the most we can from it solely depends on ‘ the medium is the message’.
The medium is the message is an idea that was brought about by Marshall McLuhan, basically its a communication theory, which simply means the way you present something will change how people see it, and the medium (Instagram, Facebook, The news etc)
will become a message. Not the full message, but part of it.
With this information we have to begin to ask question such as; is the media changing us? Do we change the media? And how are media industries affected by these changes?. There seems to be a convergence between all of these questions. The audience, media and industries are constantly effected and changed by one another, and one cannot exist without the other. For example as we developed from analog to digital, the content/industry platforms and audiences evolved as well.
Specifically social media for instance. To socially interact without being face to face once wasn’t so easy, with brick phones and writing letters, communication was to say the least, an effort.
But with the introduction of the internet and advanced smart phones that came just after it, came the market push from consumers to generate medias that allowed them to communicate with each other easier and in unique ways. Things like Twitter allow us to communicate with short written sentences, Instagram allows us to communicate with pictures, youtube allows us to communicate through videos and Facebook allows all these types of communication media to be used together. So as audiences and consumers we are constanly changing how industries create ways for us to interact with each other, not only with what we demand in the market but also we how we interact with the different mediums. But one of the biggest questions we face is if the media is changing us. In a way yes , it can change how we interact and what we see but as audeinces we are given the opportunity to manage what we see and how we use the mediums. ‘The medium is the message’ is very true in the instances of social media. When we see images we can interpret them however we like, but the image can also influence us to see a certain message. For example if you see an image of a fit girl on Instagram its completely different to how you would think about it if you saw it on the news. Instagram generally provides content that has entertainment value that most of the time isn’t classed as ‘serious’, but as soon as the same image is placed on the news with a topic of discussion coming from a news reporter, it can come across as more ‘serious’ and believable. But interestingly social media have started to evolve past news , and individuals have become to discredit news because of their exaggeration on certain topics. And people have turned to other social media to make their message come across as more ‘realistic’.
Overall everything comes back to ‘the medium is the message’ and how everything based online or in the media converges together to evolve. Just like theMeme’s and Gif in this blog post have converged with written communication to help or change your understanding of the topic.