McLuhan: Fish and children are both in schools

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October 16, 2013 by Welcome to the Jungle

McLuhan said fish don't realize they are in a medium until it changes.

McLuhan said fish don’t realize they are in a medium until it changes.

Marshall McLuhan Quote Assignment (Quote #8)

by NN

Marshall McLuhan was a man that made sense of his words by confusing people, which is ironic I know. He is very wise at wording things and making sense of complicated yet simple stuff we live and experience around us every day. The fact that his words are at times confusing, is why I chose the following quote which made the most sense to me; “A fish does not realize its medium until water changes through the adding of ink or poisons”. That being said, there remains many ways to understand, explain and interpret these few words.

We, who are the fish, do not notice what media is doing to us until that “one thing” ignites a spark and a fire begins. What that means is that we can be surrounded by water, in this case it is the media (comparable to fish), but as soon as ink or poison is thrown in the water, we clearly start to notice its affect. It is at this point where it becomes impossible to change what has happened. With the adding of ink and poison in our water, there isn’t a way to stop it after they touch. It will change and shape us forever and will always affect us. Even if we were able to stop the ink or poison from spreading as much as it was meant to there will always be a little damage. It doesn’t stop there, the damaging effect that we receive will follow us and be passed down to our children. It will affect us and continue as a ripple effect through generations to come. By explaining the quote in this way, I must agree with it.

This concept of media unconsciously affecting us and getting to a point where once a spark has started it will always affect us does apply to media studies. This class teaches us to be aware of our surroundings and what is affecting and happening to us. The class shows us how ink and poison can be added to our water, which is our media as well as to society in general. It helps us become more aware of the affects the media has on us, whether it is a positive or negative influence. It also helps us become more conscious so that the ink and poison will not be added in order to negatively affect us, rather having a spark where we only experience smoke surrounding us for a couple seconds which latter dissolves and dissipates into the air creating no lasting effects..

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