The Medium is the Massage || A review

I had to read this book for one of my classes, but decided not to do so, until today. I am very interested in the topics McLuhan delves into in his book, and I felt eager to finally read it.

'The medium is The Massage' delves into the concepts of the global village, globalization, mass media and how we perceive media. I appreciate how straight to the point the book is, and it delivers its ideas clearly. The concepts in this book are most applicable in the current century, as they perfectly align with how the internet has totally transformed our lives.

The book uses graphic elements to support the content, this created a more engaging and fun read. Moreover, each time a concept can be applied in text form, the book illustrates the effect of that topic. For example; when the effects of rhythm and font style, size and colour are discussed, in that paragraph certain words have different fonts and sizes; and some were underlined too.

In the very first pages, McLuhan explains how new media has effected society, and he does that by dividing it into categories (You, Your Family, Your Neighborhood, Your education, Your job, Your Government, The Others). I find the way McLuhan explains how media effects 'Your Family' to be incredibly accurate. In which, raising and building a family has stopped being a two man's job, but society became involved in the lives of others. Parents aren't in control of their kids anymore (so can we fully blame them?)

"Character no longer is shaped by only two earnest, fumbling experts. Now all the world's a sage."

McLuhan briefly explains some of the effects media has caused to give marginalised groups recognition. In the electrical (digital) age, a large number of people become aware of individuals they didn't acknowledge (or know) exist before.

"In an electric information environment, minority groups can no longer be contained-ignored."

McLuhan believes that we are sensory creatures, and we depend most on our hearing to understand the world. unlike other senses, sound is uncontrollable by us. We cannot decide what to hear or from where. Sound involves individuals from all directions, unlike sight, where we perceive from a distance.

"We hear sounds from everywhere, without ever having to focus. Sounds come from "above," from "behind" us, from our "right," from our "left." We can't shut out sound automatically."

" Speak that I may see you."

This is my first McLuhan work that I have read, and I am interested in reading his other works. I do recommend this book to you, if you are interested in media, its effects and how it transforms us and transforms for us.

"They told me to continue what I was doing, and to spread JOY and REVOLUTION."


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