The public sphere is ‘the place’ where each of us finds out what is happening, and what social, cultural and political issues are facing us, and where we engage with those issues.
My public sphere would have the be social media outlets. These would include Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. It is where I find out what is happening in both my world (friends, family etc.) and the world around me (politics, celebrities, world-wide news).
Social media is an online network. You do not need to be in a physical space to see it, and you can be engaged and involved in certain topics and debates on social media in the comfort of your own home. It is a place where we source our news and debate our ideas on the world.
Because these social media platforms are so large, many issues can arise from them. For example, there could be a twitter comment debating a topic on gender. This then sparks thousands and thousands of comments underneath not only criticising the individual’s opinion, but also the individual themselves. Twitter “trolls” could ultimately destroy this persons self esteem, their reputation and in extreme cases, can have an affect on their career (if their boss happens to see it). Because you must have an account to post, you reveal a lot of personal information about yourself, which can be dangerous and consequential. Social media can also be exclusive. You can create private group conversations in which others on social media cannot see what you discuss.
The media itself, such as the people who own and control these outlets, also have a large voice, and can choose to remove a post or an individuals account. This has a large impact. For example, You-tuber Logan Paul uploaded a video of a man who committed suicide in a Japanese forest, and Youtube did have the power to take it down. However, it was up for 24 hours before Logan himself took the video town, sparking some debate against Youtube and its moderator laws.
More information on Youtube and Logan Paul here:
BBC. 2018. YouTube punishes Logan Paul over Japan suicide video. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42644321. [Accessed 10 April 2019].
Social media is a public-sphere that is ever expanding. It is a place I come to and find out what is happening in the world around me. I can choose to have a say and I voice in certain debates, however I choose to keep quiet and be a passive listener most of the time.