I wake up and am immediately checking Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter in an endless circle until I finally drag myself out of bed. I turn my car on and Triple J comes blaring through my crappy speakers. I chat with my friends through the day about anything from our upcoming festival outfits to world politics. I sit down with my family at dinner and watch Nine News and then maybe The Project. Maybe I’ll watch a little bit of ESPN later for my basketball fix.
Here are the parameters of my public sphere, or my “18th century coffee house” as Jurgen Habermas may have put it, although my public sphere doesn’t really stick to his “no women or minorities” rule. Anyway, this is where my knowledge of the outside world is learnt.
This week’s BCM110 lecture on this topic definitely made me think a little deeper about the ideas, values and beliefs that I choose to surround myself with on a daily basis, how I interact with them, and how they have shaped me and my views. It also made me think a surprisingly high amount about Big Brother, but I’m slowly learning that these lectures can be extremely random in terms of examples.
I’ve been involved in my fair share of debates online, and offline. I have quite a strong political opinions if that wasn’t obvious from my previous blog posts. I’ve had discussions with fellow students from my high school, teachers, friends, and family about LGBTQ+ rights, racism, xenophobia, feminism, the use of the n-word, and so on. Whilst not all ended on a mutual understanding of the other’s beliefs, sometimes there was a “breakthrough” with each party coming to a shared agreement. These “conversations” opened my eyes to just how large of an impact the public sphere has on an individual.
I have come to realise that I have definitely made solid decisions about my public sphere, whether that be subconsciously or deliberately. The media definitely plays a massive role in all of this. I choose to follow Instagram accounts and Facebook pages which relate to my interests and my beliefs. I unfollow old classmate’s babbling on with support for Pauline Hanson and sharing misogynistic jokes. I have no room for that negativity in my “coffee house”. I choose to surround myself with people and media that reflect my personal views on the world.