The medium is the message is the argument that medium have more influence on society than the content of media messages. For example, each medium tends to shift the power to communicate and influences the content and character of media. The following are illustrative examples of medium is the message.
For most of history, information was primarily exchanged person-to-person as conversation. This was extremely inefficient and tended to create rumors and misinformation. Communities that depended solely on word of mouth were all relatively primitive as complex societies require far more knowledge and information exchange.
Printed MediaThe invention of printing allowed for the publication of books, magazines and newspapers. This transformed the world as it greatly expanded the distribution of knowledge, propaganda and news.
Electronic MediaElectronic media such as radio and television allowed information to be transmitted in real time directly into the home. Licenses to do this were carefully controlled such that a small elite controlled all channels. This resulted in limited choice such that people watched the same television shows and news programs resulting in shared experiences and a relatively unified culture at the level of nations.
Internet MediaThe internet allowed for point to point communication and democratized broadcasting whereby anyone could start a blog and theoretically reach the entire planet. This resulted in a fragmentation of shared experience and corresponding fragmentation of culture into small subcultures.Interactive media such as games tend to be highly engaging. One can imagine a future, where real life can't compete with the attractions of interactive media such that human's become fully emerged in virtual worlds.
NotesA medium is a means of communicating such as a conversation, newspaper, radio broadcast, television broadcast, social media app or game
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