The Digital Public Sphere

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is no doubt the internet has brought the world closer together in terms of using its ability as a center for communication. The internet has brought us into a digital age where the majority of the world’s communication is done through the internet. Now that we are in this digital age, people turn to the internet for daily news, entertainment, and often times answers to any question imaginable. The public sphere has now become digital. A digital public sphere can bring out the good, the bad, and the ugly out of people.

A public sphere is where people are allowed to come together and exchange thoughts and opinions about public affairs. In today’s world the public sphere has taken its place online on websites such as the popular page named reddit. On reddit, one can go to the site and make a post about anything they want in order to create discussions or debates and eventually come to a conclusion. Sites like are also great problem solvers. Reddit has millions of followers making it extremely likely that someone out there on the page will have an answer that someone is curious about. Professionals are allowed to give responses to those in need. For example, doctors are able to address the public to and give advice on health issues.

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There have been cases of people actually having their life saved due to their peers on reddit. There was a case on reddit where a user posted on reddit to ask the community about the procedure is on landlords walking into a tenant’s place of living because he is continuously finding sticky notes in his apartment. Someone had replied to the one who had posted but instead of giving him a straight answer that he was looking for, he asked to test the apartment for carbon monoxide levels. It turns out that the sticky notes were actually placed there by the tenant but had forgotten about it due to the high levels of the poisonous gas. If someone had not put their thoughts and concern on this guy’s post, then it is very likely that he would be dead today. There are many cases similar to this one where people are actually getting legit advice and doing something it to live their lives better. another great example I have had personal experience with is advice about school at the university if New Hampshire. There is a subreddit, or a reddit page with a specified interest of conversation, of the school where anyone that has a question about the school can ask anonymously and not have to deal with the pressure of putting themselves in the limelight. I see posts all the time on the page from students that are helpful to others. There also a ton of posts from people that are interested in UNH but want more information from people who have had the experience of attending. People making these posts are likely future students who are in high school and wanted help making their decision on where to continue their education in college or other college students who are interested in transferring to the school.

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Unfortunately, reddit isn’t always the best page as far as credibility. Users on the page may not always give the best information and can sometimes be misleading to people. With the site being completely anonymous, there is no way to hold people accountable for lying to one another or worse. it is sad to see that when there are sites like these that is made to help people, others use it in the worst way. With no real names or faces being used it is easy to get away with bullying people online. I have seen this type of behavior on an app called Yik-Yak which was very similar to reddit where anyone could post something anonymously and anyone in the local area can see it. However, the app no doesn’t exist because of a high volume of people being making fun of and other cyberbullying.

Websites like reddit can really be useful and entertaining. But with people not being held accountable for their actions, it can be a dark place and especially one where there needs to be fact checking to ensure people aren’t convinced in the wrong ways. The reddit community is a unique one where anything imaginable can be discussed which can be pretty cool or pretty scary. The digital public sphere does have its ups and its downs but it’s what the users make of it.