Mark Frederman’s article ‘What is the meaning of The Medium of the message’ explains Marshal McLuhan’s theory for digital media in a less literal sense of how the Medium risks to override the importance of the content, and looks at the big picture in what new media is doing to for social behaviours and interactions.
Often when new innovations are introduced into society, there is a hype around it so only notice the convenience and opportunities it delivers. It’s not after a while do we start to see the changes in societal traditions and structures. Growing up, Fridays were an absolute treat, my mum would take my sisters and I down to Video Ezy to rent a DVD and on special occasions buy a bag caramel popcorn and order a pizza from next door. The new release DVD wall was my favourite section but the most expensive section so I have had to be on my best behaviour. And after some small arguments and a vote, we would take our picks home and be sure to remind mum to return them back on time. When Netflix, live streaming, TV record and iTunes rentals took over I adjusted and hardly noticed the decline in visits to the video stores. Now looking back, the new technology meant the end of a cultural tradition. No more late fees, 3 for 1 deals, family trips to the DVD store. The introduction of these media convergence inventions also meant the crash of major companies that provided many jobs.
As I reflect on this shift from the DVD to Digital, the details of the content have not been tainted but how we go about using it and interacting with it is changed by the medium, ultimately showing the medium’s ability to change human behaviour.