We work with an expansive understanding of media, including in it all the different conduits through which we interact with our life circumstances. As McLuhan said—"The medium is the message."—for the affordances, biases, and limitations of media exert great formative influence on our potentials, aspirations, and actions. We seek to understand those workings in order to exert some control and shape our lives as well as we can.
In discussing Formative Media here, we aim at such understanding, partly by sharing insight into how and why different media have formative power in our lives, and partly by reflecting on ways, public and personal, to act with and on them to more effectively form and realize our purposes. let's try to couch those reflections in the form of brief narratives, vignettes that exemplify an idea in action.
- See Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1964, 1994) passim, esp. pp. 7-21.