Saturday, 25 July 2009

The democratisation of intimacy

Anthropologist Stefana Broadbent says that modern communications aren't expanding our circle of friends but are strengthening our most important relationships.


Ting Shum said...

Someone think that modern communications can promote democracy as it offers the public a “space/ sphere” for discussing the public affairs and expanding circle of fellows to congregate the public’s power in order to cause awareness in the society at large. Changing the ending of character “Laughing Gor” in TVB TV series by audiences’ power originated from Facebook and, using Twitter as a tool of opposing against the government in the Iran election are the examples to illustrate how modern communications provide people with the sphere of breaking the rule of one-way communication (receiving information only), participating in public discussion or even trying to reform the society.

However, anthropologist Stefana Broadbent disagrees with it, stating that people only focus on their private matter more than the public affairs in this modern communication context. She said what has been democratised is intimacy. On the other hand, It can be found that the examples raised are people at work and she has pointed out that “modern institutions were more responsible for isolation than modern communications.”

What do you all think? What is your experience?

DDTse said...

Good to see you Ting =]

Whenever comes to a term of word, I think it is better we define this word '' communication ''
Of cos we know there are many types and ways of communication. With the modern tools, in instance the internet, our voices could be spread all over the world, and sometime it would be very effective and impactive.

She stating that people only focus on their private matter more than the public affairs in this modern communication context. This statement rather confused me, isn't phone and Msn invented for this purpose? And we got alot more other channels to discuss the public affair in the modern communication context, I don't think public stuff should takeover all of our communicating path. For example, I feel it is ignoring when people raise a political issue in facebook, and It is stupid that when people talk about her dogs in the CNN discussion blog.

So I don think we should take the private and public discussion as a competition relationship, they can be Commensalism or even mutualism.

What do you think?

Thomas Kan said...

I agree with Stefana's view about democratising our intimacy, that social networking are actually (or merely?)strengthening our core relationships, they might not necessarily expand our circle of friends. I'll give you my experience with Facebook. I know I can find many faces I knew or I wish to know, but most of the time I went there (not very often to be honest), I was using it as a convenient tool to spread my latest album or to share a piece of info to my friends (or students)and that's all. I know there are quite a number of students which I knew and they are all hoping to add me on their lists but hang on, do I have the time to meet with them every day talking about their mundane things? My sharing of albums are what Stefana called democratisation of intimacy. Have I expanded my social circle? No! Because I only share them with friends - of course my students have become firends.