Bert and Barbra’s Story of “The Medium is the Message”


To start things off I would like to identify that the topic for this week is that “The Medium is the Message”, this medium truly is and can be anything which is also very similar to the message. This quote from Marshal McLuhan basically suggests and emphasises the idea that as mediums such as technology are vastly changing, which therefore leads to the message of this medium also initiating a change.

“The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium – that is, of any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.” ~Marshall McLuhan

In this way, it can be identified that different modes of media have a diverse and differing effects on society, this in turn being a catalyst for a change for an individuals perception being the message.

Similarly, different modes of media (mediums) can manifest various behaviours which are diverse across platforms. Radio for example:


(Original Picture taken from:


This is just an example of how radio can take people by storm. The radio back in 1922 was legendary. It enabled people to come together and become one unit as they listened to sports being placed, old talk show hosts or even some kind of music. The radio was a revolutionary medium.

You are able to drive, work, multitask and undertake various other activities while listening to the radio. Being quite informative, this leads to the idea that the medium of a message can position an audience in a certain way, therefore changing the message entirely.

Now if this concept of the medium being the message is a bit hard to understand (don’t worry its an idea which I have very limited details about myself) I may be able to give you a small insight into what it may suggest.

In the tutorial this week, my tutor Ted decided that “chaos” would help us become one with each other, that a “structured” classroom wasn’t an effective learning environment. I like Ted. He truly allows us to contemplate about what WE would like to accomplish and OUR OWN ideas which even we do not understand yet.

Once we messed up the room a bit, got to know each other and brainstorm ideas (with a substantial amount of hesitation from the class) we were put into groups to make a product and given three random cards to improve this “product”.


Object – A Mobile Phone

Add – Crowd Funding

Improve With – Nostalgia


… Okay… Okay… So my group of Brooke, Hannah and Sarah had to create a product which has all three things listed attributed to it. How did we do this may you ask?

As the creative minds of our group began to flow we came up with a scenario.

Bert and Barbra. I might as well give some backstory to apply some context.

Bert and Barb, an old married couple in their 70s went to go play bingo in the afternoon. Having a good feeling about Barb’s card Bert swapped the cards between the two and began the game with some explicit remarks from Barb. As the last number was called a resounding “Bingo!” came from the mouth of Bert, his grin went from ear to ear, very similar to Barb’s scowl. With a huff and a puff Barb stormed off out of the room leaving her losing bingo card and reading glasses behind with not a seconds hesitation. Bert was extremely upset, the love of his life has left him, probably for some boy toy from the shire (*cough cough* love me some Barb). Then he realised. The concert! Barb was so excited about a concert which she had been talking about for months. However, Bert wasn’t interested. This was his chance! With a heavy stride and a cracking back he rushed off to the concert…

At this point we can see that the medium of the bingo game has changed the perspective of Barb and Bert towards each other as well as our representation of them. Remember, “The medium is the message”. Similarly, where are they going? To a concert with thousands of people, being much like my radio analogy, this shows how a medium can influence individuals and show how it can impact the message! Now to continue the story.

Once Bert arrives he is distraught. Barb is no-where to be found, did she even come? He decides to go into the concert on his own. He finds his seat, sits down and waits. Then an angel appears. Her glassy blue eyes and angelic short white hair sway as the wind blows it almost clean off. Barb’s nightgown almost screams “Its past my bed time” but she does look immaculate! Bert reaches into his pocket and realises. “Oh gee wilickers! I left my cellular device at home!” he thinks for a minute. Another minute. Bingo! He whispers to the couple next to him a message meant for Barb. Hopefully this large scale game of Chinese whispers doesn’t end up like the game when we were kids as it goes around half a stadium. As it reaches her, she looks over, teary eyed and blows Bert a kiss, signalling that she still loves him. With a resounding and bellowing cheer from the crowd the rock concert from ACDC starts and all is well. The Story of Bert and Barb everybody!


If this didn’t make sense please ask me any questions in the comments below!

A quick summary of why this is related:

  • The medium being the people/communication was used to convey a message, this message would have been completely different if undertaken by a mobile phone.
    • The medium was the people in the crowd conveying the message between Bert and Barb (being an extension of Bert and Barbra’s minds).
    • The message was the perspective which changed which was the perspective of the crowd towards the situation, but also of Barb as she had a change of heart towards Bert.
  • The nostalgia was the rock concert and that Bert and Barbra were older individuals showing how love can be nostalgic and sentimental.
  • Crowd Funding? The concert crowd of course! They funded their time and effort to help out old Barbra and Bert with their life troubles, however I have a feeling they will be returning in this blog very soon (maybe in a weeks time).


Always remember “The medium is the message”

Well that’s it for this week.

~ krisesandchrosses ~