McLuhan:Swimming in the media sea

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March 21, 2014 by Welcome to the Jungle

By Amir E.

toxic seaMarshall McLuhan is one of the most brilliant people in media studies. I am a fan of the way that he explains his opinions in remarkable and ambiguous ways that attract people’s attention, and make them want to dig deeper for the truth, and that is why I choose to keep digging in one his quote, so I chose the quote that said “A fish does not realize its medium until that water changes through the adding of ink or poisons.”
When you look at this quote for the first time you won’t get the point of what he is trying to say, but once you dig deep into it, you will find out that his message is actually clear, simple, and to the point. We are the fish, and we are deeply affected by the sea of media and society to the point that we don’t even realize their influences on us, until it is too late, and the ink and poison are already added to the mainstream. We are being manipulated by the media like we are fish. We are told by the media what to wear, how to speak, and what to do to be cool, and we submit to the media and keep following it, until the media splashes us with its ink and poison, which stands, in this metaphor, for all the inappropriate messages that we receive on daily basis from the media. I agree with this quote, and we shouldn’t give into the idea that we are merely fish that can be easily manipulated, we also should regulate our media usage, and above all, we should watch out for the ink!
This quote relates to media studies in a lot of notable ways. One of the key significant points of studying media, is making us aware of the influences of the surrounding media on us, and making us media literate, which helps us in differentiating between good and bad influences of the media.

Media studies also teaches us how to filter the tremendous amount of media that we are exposed to, and it teaches us not to just follow the mainstream without thinking. This class also teaches us that yes we are fish in a sea of media, but we are literate enough to recognize the ink and the poison.


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