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Media - Essay Example

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‘Hot’ media was descriptive of elements of the mass media such as radio, newspapers and magazines. These media types give a lot of information to the reader or listener but do not give room for a lot of sensory involvement or completion on the part of the listener or reader. What McLuhan described as "cool" media included media sources like television as well as the telephone or television. Due to the fact that these devices do not give as much information as the radio or newspaper, they have to exact a stronger sensory “hold” on the attention of their users so as to remain relevant. McLuhan was especially engrossed with the effect of the television, which was just then gaining popularity, on its regular viewers. He was even more enthralled when later research established that television actually affects viewers by supporting them in developing passive brain wave patterns. Each mediums form is connected with a different understanding where the senses are concerned and so expose the consumer to different experiences. These experiences or alterations of perceptions form the basis of the general message’s meaning. McLuhan had a broad definition for the word ‘media’. He perceived it as “any technology that ... forms extensions of the human senses as well as body”.2 McLuhan correlated parts of the body with technological parts so as to give a better characterisation of how he perceived technology. For instance, he felt that clothing was simply an extension of the skin, while the book could be said to be an extension of the eye. McLuhan felt that these industrial extensions could in fact intensify a specific human sense while the remaining other four were disregarded. Therefore, technology, according to McLuhan, interfered with people’s sensory balance, which then affected the emotional responses of the larger human society. This process, according to McLuhan, could be viewed as being the unintended cause of all the principal cultural shifts that have typified eras of human history like the industrial age or the renaissance. McLuhan believed that human beings adapt to their environment by way of given balances, and that the main medium used in each age unearths a distinct sense ratio. McLuhan perceived every medium as being an exaggeration of one of the human faculties. He even believed that the human central nervous system is represented in the electric circuitry. It was McLuhan’s believe that in the prehistoric era, humankind existed in the perfect condition in which all of man’s senses functioned together in perfect synchronisation. In his words, “prior to the discovery of the phonetic alphabet, humankind existed in a world where all the five senses were simultaneous and balanced; this was a world of filled with resonance as well as tribal depth”.3 Humankind, according to McLuhan, lived in a space that was devoid of margins or even a centre. The only way through which preliterate people could exchange ideas was through speech. In essence, all information ...Show more


Journalism, Mass Media and Communication Marshall McLuhan, who lived between 1911 and 1980, was a cultural critic, media theorist, and provoker. McLuhan became widely recognised during the 1960s due to his deep insights about the information era. One of McLuhan's best known concepts which are basically summarised by the assertion that, "the medium is the message." The fundamental theory in the statement “the medium is the message” is that the medium through which content is contained has a significant role in the way it is identified…
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Media essay example
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