Gravitational Faux Pas


Something I’ve come to notice more and more about the use of media is that often things that occur in private or in a relatively small public zone, are becoming more and more susceptible to being published outside the context in which they occur. Take for instance, falling on your face, something I’m very familiar with being co-ordination-ally challenged. So you fall down, before the advent of the communication technology we have today, you would’ve been mortified but only in front of a handful of people. With the advent of portable technology however this scene could be captured by the handful of people in your immediate space and then shared with others via multiple platforms. Doppelganger69 posts image entitled “bitch fell down” on Facebook, tweets out the same image, puts a retro filter on it and posts it to Instagram, auto tunes it and posts it on YouTube and that’s only the beginning. Your gravitational faux pas, something you wish like hell was kept in relative privacy is now all too public.

In searching for different definitions of public and private space, access appeared as a key feature, public space was a place accessible by all and private space was a place accessible to few. Private space was owned by one or few and usually came with it’s own unique set of rules and controls enforced by those in a position of ownership. Public space was viewed as being owned but being shared for a greater social good and as being less restricted and controlled.

In looking at what is public and what is private I came across an article posted on Storyful by Fiona McCann, it illustrated and made comment on a story about a couple who were having an argument on a train which was then published to twitter by a comedian/journalist who was sitting nearby. The story moved from the relative privacy of the train to a larger public audience of followers. It also provoked discussion on whether it was right to publish such eavesdropping or whether it was the couple’s fault for bringing their private argument to a public space. Which rules apply? What is acceptable practice?



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