Due to the onslaught of the digital age, the formerly public space of “out there” is now both “out there” and “in here”—in the formerly private arena of the home; even one’s own personal space is now a public space courtesy of the Blackberry, I-Phone and social networking applications. Of course, geographical, physical public space still exists; however, I think a new definition or version of “public space” is more relevant and has more to do with impact—the reach of the internet and it’s features—e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.
The digital age has rendered the entire globe accessible both to and as public space—and this space can be entered without much fuss and altered and discerned with great speed. The digital transformation that ‘shrunk’ the globe is the latest manifestation of a tide of ‘mobile’ public space that began with the publishing age and ran through that of radio and television. With each advance in technology,, the realm of public space becomes not only more democratic—but easier and quicker to access.
The current situation in Florida concerning the minister who is planning to burn the Koran this weekend is a good example of the speed, impression and ultimate effects of the digitalized version of public space. If this scenario would have occurred 20 years ago (or, especially, prior to the advent of “YouTube”) the image of the minister’s proposed act would not have been as readily available within the realm of public space (i.e. the cyber-globe) and would have, therefore, caused much less of an impact and consternation.