How does the media influence your life?
Would it make sense to list all media I confront myself with every day?
It is the clock radio that wakes me every morning. It is the music I listen to on my way to school, not to forget the MP3-player my music is saved on. Every thing, on which information is located and transmitted, is a medium, for example traffic signs or advertising pillars [Litfaßsäule]. However, the definition of a medium as something that is standing between two entities of communication goes much further. In fact we have to speak of language as a medium. That puts the question into absolutely new light. When Aristotle called the human a “zoon politicon”, a social animal, he yet did not know how right he was.
We could not survive without communication. I derive this hypothesis among others from George Herbert Mead’s studies, a sociologist of the 19th/20th century that developed the basises for later Symbolic Interactionism (Herbert Blumer).
We can prove our thesis on a simple example. The first condition for humankind to survive is reproduction. For the act of reproduction always two people have to come together and therefore they have to communicate with each other.
Interacting with people without communication is not possible, and you cannot not communicate, as Paul Watzlawick said. Since media and communication are stuck together we would not survive without media.
The only way humanity could survive without media would be an emancipation of communication from media. Concretely, we have to find a way of communication without using our senses, which means non-visual, non-auditory, non-tactile, non-odorative and non-gustative, as the senses are the basis for media. Should we start reading thoughts? Are thoughts media? I would say, they are not at the moment. As soon as we can read the thoughts of other humans we will have interacted and communicated with them and then at the latest we would also call them media.
Therefore, as communication and media cannot be uncoupled and as we need communication to survive, according to the simple rules of syllogism, my conclusion is: Survival without media is not possible.
I guess, then media influence my life to a large extent.