Michelle Pooran – Medium Theory Final

Michelle Pooran

770 words

Medium Theory is used to describe the research done to find out what the potential influences of communications technologies are and to differentiate it from most other media theories. This theory focuses on each individual type of media and how each fixed feature of communications make the medium physically, psychologically, and socially different from one another. Medium theorists analyze how several factors of which influence the main theory. These factors include the type of communication, such as directional or uni-directional, the speed of dissemination, and how people interpret each message. The universal question of this theory is how does the medium theory influence socially, politically and psychologically.

The Theory discusses a couple of eras throughout the chapter. The eras discussed range from traditional oral societies to modern print societies, to an electronic global culture. Traditional oral societies attempted to preserve the ideas based on the living memory of people. Thus, having to focus on memorization and recitation in order to achieve ones goals. In oral societies, ideas were formed into poetry in order to simplify the memorization process for people. The culture was usually formed in familiar stories with phrases, actions and events. These societies require physical presence in order to communicate with one another, thus making it difficult to interact with people one is not living with. The societies are what is called traditional. People within theses societies did not interact if it was not physically. Preserving the culture and not changing is a huge essential for them because they pride on who they are, what has been done and what has been said within these societies. These oral societies however, are beneficial because they increase the interplay of all the senses. Ultimately, promoting physical interaction with one another which is what we now are trying to encourage as well.

The Transitional Scribal Phase has developed the way we write, express and share our ideas, and ultimately establishing the potential for literature, science and philosophy. This also helped people who were literate to experience and know different things. To think and analyze everything, and to have different world views. This society promoted one which writing helped unify people with ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. These however, are not “natural” ways of communicating. They require a lot of learning in order to perfect this. The printing press was not effective until the sixteenth century; the spread of schooling and growth of literacy(NIH). Thus having a higher impact on Western societies because of the higher level of written symbols used in the East.

The Rise of Modern Print Culture separated the community based on communication system. Therefore, the poor, which were illiterate remained in a system which oral communication was used. Whereas, the middle and higher class were advancing much quicker and were becoming knowledgeable with the libraries. Reading and writing created a separation because of the experiences and knowledge that differed based upon different informational worlds(CBS). This became extremely valuable because societies were developing at a very high rate due to these resources. Several changes in thinking patterns began to occur to the how much people were learning.

Global Electronic Culture was huge step from others because it is when print culture came to its full power. This happened during the late nineteenth century, when the universal literacy and first electronic media collide. The telegraph, telephone, radio, television and more were invented throughout this era. Electronic media have fostered new types of shared experiences in terms of communication(TRINITY). It has allowed forms of sensory experience to compete with print knowledge, thus creating a highly technological society.

Web2.0 and social media have impacted are society enormously. It has allowed for knowledge about every form of life to expand and to be accessible to anyone who needs or wants it. This form of technology and communication has forced people to think to a higher level and to become more aware of the world surrounding us. It has also forced people to dream bigger because of how much one can do nowadays with the technological advancements. These developments have both impacted our society positively and negatively. It has helped us advance and grow at a faster rate socially, physically and psychologically. This however, has decreased physical interaction between human beings because of how effective technology is today(CBS). People don’t have to move in order to obtain information, it is accessible on a telephone or laptop or every kind of machine. People around the world have been attempting to use this technological advancement in a positive way in order to promote oral contact instead of calling or messaging. Thus, improving our society so that we become more aware of what is happening around us.


  1. http://www.trinity.edu/mkearl/socpsy-5.html – TRINITY
  2. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/4/800.full – PEDIATRICS
  3. http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/04/16/psychologist-social-media-causing-a-distancing-phenomena-to-take-place/ – CBS
  4. http://www.nichd.nih.gov/about/meetings/2006/electronicmediaconf/Pages/workshopsummary.aspx – NIHnew-all-media2

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