“The medium is the message.”—Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (McGraw Hill, 1964).
McLuhan’s famous quote from a half a century ago has never been truer than it is today. The proliferation of mass media—first audio recordings, film, and television, and later home computers, the Internet, and mobile devices—have placed an overwhelming variety of content in our hands every waking moment of our lives. From education, to entertainment, to mindless distraction, the digital media onslaught is never-ending.
But now, in this age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and every other social-media platform wrestling for our ever-diminishing attention spans, has McLuhan’s prophetic quote become passé? In our current, self-centered, selfie-obsessed, digital navel-gazing culture, has the messenger become the message?
This is the question I am trying to answer, as a writer, as a blogger, and most importantly as a Christian. How do I balance the need to create and maintain a platform with the necessary call of Christian humility? How do I get out of my own way and point back to the One who is the Maker and Sustainer of all things? How do I glorify Him through the gifts he has given me and use those gifts for the uplifting of others rather than my own glorification? And how do I accomplish the very practical task of bringing traffic to my blog and spreading the word about my writing at the same time?
These are difficult questions. I can ask them in five minutes, but I’m not sure how long it will take for me to answer them.