I think that it is interesting now to look back through the lecture topics and see how they all fit together. Online communities are a key factor of the network society whereby people can come together and be a part of the public sphere. This links to campaigning, social movements and activism as audiences and the public are empowered to make a difference. This helps with democracy, especially as sites such as https://petition.parliament.uk and https://www.change.org exist where audiences can actively participate in their society. Similarly, social media and particularly more pubic sites such as Twitter help audiences to communicate their opinions – however there are debates about regulation of social media and what constitutes as free speech. In the same way, there are debates about censorship and surveillance. It is suggested that we live in a surveillance society where we are constantly being tracked. However, I also think that we waver our right to privacy by uploading excessive amounts of content online.
What I found the most interesting and have for a long time is the fact that, with social media, although there are many bits (some mentioned above), there is the idea that it makes us less social as we substitute real life conversations for virtual ones. I feel as though social media and mobiles are often used as an excuse not to have a conversation with someone instead of putting the effort in to interact. An article by the Wall Street Journal suggests that we check our phones due to anxiety – perhaps linked to the fear of missing out (or FOMO). All of these these issues affect our everyday lives, however I do not think that we critically think about them enough.