The Medium is the Message

Media theorist Marshall McLuhan predicted the internet age and the rise of social media, coining the term “global village” which could be understood to be the internet. He believed that human history could be divided into four eras: the acoustic age, the literary age, the print age, and the electronic age.

McLuhan predicted the world was entering the fourth era—the electronic age—which would be characterized by everyone having access to the same information through technology. He also predicted that the method of communication rather than the information itself would come to be the most influential fact of the electronic age. He soon became a TV personality, making regular appearances to explain his theory of why “the medium is the message.”

His theories were met with controversy in academic circles throughout the 1970s and after his death in 1980. Then, in 1989, the internet was born, and McLuhan was looked upon with renewed interest.

As Marshall McLuhan predicted, now in the 21st century we have a world of information at our fingertips on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The internet has facilitated a breaking down of global barriers and the democratization of knowledge.

McLuhan also professed to be a man of faith. In a discussion aired on ABC Radio, when asked if he was religious he replied, “I don’t know. I am, I hope, a very real, practising, believing Christian, I try to be . . . . there was a friend of mine who said ‘Well, since you don’t believe in Christianity (I was an agnostic) you could pray to God the Father . . . and simply ask to be shown.’ And so I did.”

In matters of faith, the medium—Jesus Christ—is truly the message.

The Telegraph Technology, 21 July 2017; ABC Radio, Sunday 17 July 2011