The Medium Is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects

From Media Technology and Culture Change

The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects (1967) was written by Marshall McLuhan with the help of graphic designer Quentin Fiore. The Medium is the Massage is considered a foundational text within the study of media theory, discussing the effects of various media on the human sensorium. McLuhan argued that media are "extensions" of human senses, bodies and mind.

The book contains numerous pictures, superimposed text, paragraphs written backwords and blank pages, creating a sort of collage that would hopefully help readers understand McLuhan's concepts in a new way.

The main idea of the book is that different media affect the way in which communication is perceived. McLuhan also argues that media are used as extensions of human senses.

Apparently the book was originally supposed to be titled "The medium is the Message", and the title that came out was the result of a printing error. However, McLuhan liked to play with different words, and use terms such as "massage" "mass age" "mess age" when talking about his theories, so he found it fitting to leave the mistaken title.