Fame and fortune are only made via advertisement. The only reason we buy that really cute purse or are interested in who Kylie is dating now is because we were told to. But how do we decide what matters? When do we get told what to buy and what to consider important? Is it all provoked by an arbitrary fistful of companies and business, or does your big sister’s boyfriend’s cute friend have a part to play in the conspiracy too?
Facebook skyrocketed shortly after college students crowded the web to talk to one another virtually. Then their family and friends joined in, until we all wanted a piece of that virtual community. Advertisers caught on faster than Mark Zuckerberg and his crew could yell “We’re RICH!”.
We don’t have to pull up a different site to find out what’s up with the Kardashian’s or find that super cute dress is on discount finally at a Store Near You! The advertisements are merged in with that picture of someone’s new baby and how your aunt Lucy dressed her pug up for Halloween. And your aunt Lucy may even be the one who SHARED that piece of information for the New York Times or that coupon for Macy’s.
McLuhan’s thinking around the message of media is strongly supported by the functions of Facebook. He said “Many people would be disposed to say that it was not the machine, but what one did with the machine, that was its meaning or message. In terms of the ways in which the machine altered our relations to one another or to ourselves…”
Digital Stat Articles has a site with 400 Facebook statistics showing that since June of this year there are at least 1.71 billion active users every day. That is almost a quarter of our world’s population that is constantly participating in this medium. At this time 91% of millennials (15-34-year-old) are part of this participatory culture on Facebook. And with an average of 245 friends per Facebook user we have an extended reach of influence that goes beyond our everyday lives.
On Facebook it is more about how we REACT to what we see then what we see. I think this is what McLuhan meant, I could share something and express my disagreement or support of it and my reaction to the message is as important if not MORE important than the message all on its own. Your response to that message would add or remove value to my opinion. That is how the medium becomes the message and how participatory culture allows us to be the medium as well. Facebook is one of the best examples of how we can contribute and influence how our friends read or interpret messages.
Facebook is the Message.