Public sphere

5 Feb

The idea of an open forum that transcends any social hierarchy, with this Jurgen Habermas I feel predicts the next level of social media. This in context with the last post about media in my life specifically draws out some interesting notions about open dialogue the public vs. the private sphere and how information is received in this day and age. The idea was to elevate society through an open means of communication that encompassed everyone. Looking at society today I look at how we communicate and interact and no better place to start than “Facebook.” This avenue that many of us use to communicate is actually not a complete public sphere; it is actually a cluster or hive of private spheres connected by one, two, or more people. When you look at your friends list on facebook (and for those non-facebook users it is simply a list of people you associate yourself with in one form or another on facebook). You can see all of the members in your circle of friends, then each of your friends has a circle and so on. If you have on your privacy settings, which hopefully most sensible people do, where only your friends can see your content that in itself is a sort of private sphere, that for one reason or another not everyone can gain access to. This of course is Habermas’s ideals from a social media stand point, but if we turn our attention to a less digital forum we can discuss the idea of the 24 hour news cycle. The whole idea from Habermas was to give voice to the voiceless and to collectively educate one another in the public sphere. The 24 hour news cycle is going this direction, in fact they are just keeping up with the times. Network digitally is the new black, everyone is going in that route creating a community of knowledge seems to be the norm nowadays, especially in a society where someone can skydive from space and millions of people can tell you how fast he is descending and the moment he will land. The news has fundamentally changed the way in which we think about the whole institution of journalism, because not only did they create a 24hour news cycle they managed to include the viewer in the reporting. Now when a story breaks with “ireporter” anyone can submit video or images to the news station in a sort of open dialogue with the public, creating a public sphere that now has multiple perspectives to one story.  

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