The Medium is the Massage

Marshall McLuhan - DigitalRhetoricCollaborative

Marshall McLuhan, (1911-1980, Toronto), Canadian communications theorist and educator, he didn’t live to see the internet, i wonder how he thinks right now as he predicted the concept of the “global village”.

“The medium is the message” summarised his view of the potent influence of television, computers, and other electronic disseminators of information in shaping styles of thinking and thought. By playing on words and using the term “massage,” McLuhan suggests modern audiences enjoy main stream media as soothing, enjoyable, and relaxing; however, the pleasure we find in the MainStream media is deceiving, because since he changes between society and technology are incongruent, perpetuating an age of anxiety. His ideas of HOT / COLD medium is interesting: Print is hot. Television is cool. Mechanical tools are hot. Hand-wrought tools and software are cool. Hot media encourage passive consumption. Cool media encourage active participation.

“All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perception and arbitrary values” 


—Art is whatever you can get away with.


—All media are extensions of some human faculty-psychic or physical.

The Medium is The Massage by Marshall McLuhan

— 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.


—The artist is always engaged in writing a detailed history of the future because he is the only person aware of the nature of the present.


—Man becomes, as it were, the sex organs of the machine world, as the bee of the plant world, enabling it to fecundate and to evolve ever new forms.

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan

Create a website or blog at