One way to study the effects of media and technology is to imagine a time before the medium existed. Would people understand what the song/story/painting was about?
For example, songs, television programs, records, oil companies named after Route 66. The highway no longer exists. It was one of the first US highways. What would people think about the song before the highway was built in 1926?
Wilson Pickett's Mustang Sally (written and first recorded by Mack Rice) is a rich example: The Ford Mustang car gives Sally freedom. The car is named after the wild horse known as the mustang. Would the song make sense in the days of horses as transportation?