The Media Theory Toolbox – My Public Sphere

The Media Theory Toolbox – My Public Sphere

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.

Gif: xhttps://media.giphy.com/media/l4JyWw1bpRI6oUOIg/source.gif

7 thoughts on “The Media Theory Toolbox – My Public Sphere

  1. This is a really fascinating interpretation of the public sphere. I understand how hard it can be sometimes to have wildly different opinions and have to lose friends because of them but I admire how you stay true to your morals and beliefs despite what others might think. It’s also really interesting how you talk of ‘breakthroughs’ in discussions with people who have opposing views, it really shows how the setting of a public sphere can help to inform people on issues that they may not fully understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you’ve defined that fine line between creating an echo chamber in a public sphere and listening to other peoples’ arguments. We need to listen to each other but there does come a point when the wall must be built to block out the misogynistic jokes and Pauline Hanson supporters. You’ve described a balanced way of going about creating a healthy ‘coffee house’ that I think expands and improves upon Habermas’ original theory. I would love to see pictures in this post to support your thoughts and add more visual aid–the Beyonce gif is a great starting point. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love how you’ve described the public sphere as it is a place where not only do discussions take place but also where arguments and uncivil comments are made. I personally do believe that while we must all listen to each other and learn why other people think the way they and why they believe in the things that they believe then we would be able to understand each other’s perspective in a civil manner. However, if it does come to a point where a person is sharing horribly sexist comments online and there is no way to talk them out of that mindset then I do believe that removing them from your public sphere is the best option, especially if they do make you feel uncomfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that you’ve classified where your spheres come from. With media and technology today, it’s so easy to have blurred lines between what you are influenced by and choose to surround yourself with, and what you feel is shoved at you. Social Media has such a huge role in our lives now and I agree, we begin to subconsciously choose what we surround ourselves with. It’s also easy to follow what’s popular or influential in the world, and it’s good to see that you’ve chosen to actively close off negativity in those forms from your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This post is so relatable and awesome. Reading it has really broadened my perspective of your public sphere and how it is for everyone else. The public sphere really has escalated from that 18th century coffee house and things sometimes get out of hand without misogynistic comments. Reading this post has given me more knowledge of the operation of the public sphere. I too do unfollow the negativity some of these comments on news posts are crazy. Overall great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A few things first
    1) YES TO THE BEY GIF
    2) Yes to saying NO to misogynistic jokes
    3) Yes to you recognising that you surround yourself with what you want to here.
    Okay now, love that you have showed a really deep understanding of how a public sphere can have both uplifting conversations but also arguments, which are often in defence of the more positive conversations you have already had. You have also really opened my eyes to the variety of platforms that a public sphere can spread across, both online and in reality. Overall, I have definitely learnt more about the stretch of the public sphere from the great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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