Medium = Message

In a culture like ours, long accustomed to splitting and dividing all things as a means of control, it is sometimes a bit of a shock to be reminded that, in operational and practical fact, the medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium-that is, of any extension of ourselves-result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology. Thus, with automation, for example, the new patterns of human association tend to eliminate jobs, it is true. That is the negative result. Positively, automation creates roles for people, which is to say depth of involvement in their work and human association that our preceding mechanical technology had destroyed. Many people would be disposed to say that it was not the machine, but what one did with the machine, that was its meaning or message.

~ Marshall McLuhan, Educator, Philosopher, Scholar – Excerpt from Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man

This can be taken so many ways but I’m wondering what people do with the machine? If they can even begin to define their interactions with technology and where the meaning lies. Interesting question considering people automatically look at their mobile devices when they enter an elevator, or feel compelled to talk or text while driving, or feel lost when the power goes out. Again, is your interaction with the machine/technology the meaning or the message?

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