Kardashian is the Message

The concept—the medium is the message—is best understood not through its literal meaning, but through the visible impacts it has on society.

Take the ‘Kardashian effect’ for example. The use of reality television and social media (medium) to portray the luxurious lives of the Kardashians, has had the effect of audiences wanting to be like the Kardashians, consequently changing their actions and attitude in an attempt to achieve their newly desired lifestyle (message).

This is a repetitive process. Due to the increasingly wide-scale response to the Kardashians, they are able to use more mediums (websites, online stores) to produce more messages for their audience, who reciprocate by creating their own related content, all of which flows across platforms in slightly differing copies of each other.

This process evolves over time in alignment with the concept of ‘trajectories of media convergence’. Where previously, audiences consumed media as a product, later they then were able to use media as a conversation; now however, we have moved beyond being just an ‘active media audience’; we as responders are able to produce, aggregate and curate content.


This post was inspired by a quote from Mark Federman: “”The medium is the message” tells us that noticing change in our societal ground conditions indicates the presence of a new message, that is, the effects of a new medium.”

Federman, M. (2004, July 23). ‘What is the Meaning of The Medium is the Message?’

All video content has been referenced via a list of links in the YouTube description box of the ‘Kardashian is the Message’ video.

2 thoughts on “Kardashian is the Message”

  1. For someone who taught themselves how to use editing software for this video, it looks fantastic! I really love how you conveyed the concept of “the medium is the message” through a relevant topic, including some excellent glitching there as well 🙂

    I would have liked to see further analysis on how you think audience engagement will progress in the future. Do you think there is an endpoint for the active media audience, in the realm of popular culture? As technology advances, and new mediums emerge, will there always be another Kylie Kardashian to occupy the masses? Regrettably the 150-word limit restricts your ability to expand on these ideas, but perhaps another blog post could address these questions. Regardless- I loved your post, keep up the good work 🙂

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  2. First of all, I’m very impressed with your editing to create this video. Secondly, the way you have you have tied in the Kardashians towards this complex theory makes much more sense as they are basically a popular culture in themselves. You are completely correct when saying that their popularity has led to an increase in using other platforms and through this they have created new messages. However, do you think their message is all that relevant? It would have been good to see you explain the basis as to why we are even giving them any screen time. Overall, great job!

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