Everything can be fixed with a hammer

The medium is the message” a simple, yet profoundly appealing phrase.


Marshall McLuhan, an actor turned sociologist, published, in 1964, ‘Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man‘, from which, the above quote is extracted.

Fascinated by print and newly invented television media, he asserted that the message is not the content of the television shows but, the way in which, innovative forms of media expressed something about man’s character and psyche. This rings true with today’s media platforms, inclusive of Facebook, Snap Chat and Netflix, of which, provide the idea that man is constantly striving for convenience with the production of new mediums.

In ‘Understanding media’, McLuhan uses the hammer as an example of a tangible object (medium) by which, man has been able to express himself beyond the physical limitations of the body. That is, his body could not hammer a hard nail into a piece of timber, but his mind could convey such things. Thus, the medium of the hammer represents the message, of which, is the determination of man to build and dominate his surroundings.



Likewise, TV and print mediums portray key elements of man’s desire to express self and communicate to a broader audience. Considering the technologies available in McLuhan’s lifetime, imagine how he would have felt about YouTube, Snap chat and, of course, the proliferation of Facebook.


6 thoughts on “Everything can be fixed with a hammer

  1. Firstly, the title was really well thought out and actually enticed me to read your post and the use of meme’s throughout your blog post make it enjoyable to read your content, as it relates and ties well with the topic. I really enjoyed reading your blog post as it was to the point, clear and concise. It also made relevance to the social media platforms we use which your audience could relate to.
    However, although your post was short, I wish you used more than the example of just the hammer to further express the notion of “The medium is the message”. Otherwise really great post and I look forward to reading further submissions from you.


    • I was proud of the title, also of the memes ! Glad you enjoyed reading it 🙂 I purposely endeavored to include social media platforms that we today use in order to make it relevant for a modern audience.
      Do you perhaps have any suggestions as to what other examples you would have used in order to express “The medium is the message” ?
      Thanks for the feedback 🙂


  2. I love your use of how man is striving toward the convenience of new mediums. It really just drove home the concept of a medium being a message. Not even lying, your meme’s are straight fire! The link to our social media platforms honestly just made the concept so much more understandable, but it is so hard to fathom how McLuhan would even react to how far mediums have come.


    • I feel as though everything we do in there modern world is constantly striving toward convenience ! Hahahahah thanks for the praise of my memes !
      Thanks for the comment, very much appreciated 🙂


  3. The link you included ‘Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man‘ although a long read, was really informative and although I didn’t read it all, I did have a look through certain parts of it and it really helped me wrap my head around the whole concept.
    I really liked your explanation I think it was different and really clearly written. Super cool memes they tied in really well with what you were getting to.


  4. Don’t worry, i thought it was quite long and drawn out as well, but i found it quite helpful in understanding all the concepts thrown at us ! Thanks for the comment ! Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂


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