The Medium Is The Message and The Message Is An Insult

In the 1960s, Marshall McLuhan said that social scientists should study the medium itself, not the content in it. He said that the characteristics of the medium dictates the message. He coined the phrase, ‘The medium is the message.’

In the 1960s entry to almost every kind of medium was controlled by the gatekeepers, so there wasn’t a whole lot of experimental stuff to see. There were a few counter-culture papers, but that was about it.

What would it be like, we wondered, if the gatekeepers who allowed access to publication were removed and everyone could say their piece?

Fast forward to today where people on all sides can speak to an audience.

And with what result? People have burned the bridges that connect them to people of opposite opinions. Politicians of all stripes have shown they are not statesmen: They too are caught in the fashion of hurling insults.

The medium encourages it, with isolated, insulated insults hurled by people whose intent is to cause hurt and pain. What pain are they in that they must give vent the way they do? What confusion swirls about them that they feel driven to do it? Will they grow tired of it?

Is this a blip on the road to a global village when we unite in recognition that we are all in this together? Whether kicking and screaming or dancing, it is going to happen.