McCluhan What is the Meaning of The Medium is the Message?

Andrew Wilson


McCluhan Reading


This article begins by giving insight on how our society has adapted to completing tasks. Usually these task that need completion are broken down into many parts so that multiple individuals can complete each part of what will be the final product. The article then suggest what is to happen if a new, innovative technology,like automation comes along. The many steps can now be completed by a single machine. The problem with this is that it eliminates the need for the old employees. There is however a silver lining since the automation itself needs skilled laborers to look over the automation process to ensure that everything works properly. This desertion of the old medium of work creates a new field of skilled employees that are equipped to handle this new level of technological industrialization.  After this point the article says that it is “not the machine, but what one did with the machine, that was its meaning or message.” This is where he brings up one of his main points; It doesn’t matter what is being produces, the message that the technology being developed shapes human work and association with technological innovation and its fragmentation. The author states that with this system with which we use technology we need to consider the psychic and social of designs or patterns that are being used to change the scale, pace, or pattern of technology as it is already integrated into human affairs. The theme presented in this article is that no matter the action being conducted in relation to the use of a technology, it has at that moment become an extension or a medium of that technology. One of the pieces of technology that continually makes an appearance in this piece is the light bulb, and it is a fantastic way for him to explain his point With the light bulb comparison he is able to take any situation or event and explain it as a medium of that new technology, and with that explanation he is able to more deeply relate back to his point shape, pace, and pattern affecting the way a technology is used.


These web pages actually relate to the repurposing of a technology after it has become old or non-functional:



Leave a Reply

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

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s