McLuhan: Fish do not realize the medium until water changes

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March 17, 2014 by Welcome to the Jungle

Marshall McLuhan assignment

Lauren S.

For this assignment I have chosen the quotation,

conformA fish does not realize its medium

until that water changes through the adding of ink or poisons.”

I believe this quotation is a metaphor for how the media reacts in our society and upon each individual. In this metaphor, people are the fish who don’t realize the impact that media has on us with all of it’s poisonous thoughts and rules until we’ve become poisoned with images of whom we’re suppose to bear a resemblance to. For the most part, even in the 21st century, we’re unaware of how the media influences us. Whether it is through advertisements on the radio and television, or logos in movies and billboards, we’re told what we should wear and how our bodies should look while wearing them. We’re told what we should eat and how many times a week we should be at the gym. Unfortunately, these are all aspects we see and hear everyday, and it’s become the norm. These “rules” have been creeping up on us for so long that people would be lost in this day and age if they didn’t have the radio, television, social media sites, and many more forms of media telling them what to do with their lives. I completely agree with this quotation and feel that it should be plastered throughout the media from time to time to remind people to be who they want to be and look how they want to look without the influence of the media. If Marshall McLuhan was alive today, I feel as though he would be extremely disappointed in humanity and what has become of our society.

This quotation applies to media studies in every way. Creatures in the ocean form abnormalities, disabilities and even die because of the toxins that the human race distributes into their home, and it’s the exact same for us. We’re the creatures in society and the media is our toxin that leads to mental disabilities and suicidal individuals who don’t feel as though they can live up the media’s standards.

We’re being taught to realize how the media is affecting our day-to-day lives and the influence it has on what we do, think and buy.


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