Talking bout the blogger in the mirror

I was surprised by how much of this course built on knowledge I gained from the ‘Society and Culture’ in the HSC, especially about looking beyond what you are presented. Although we weren’t taught with such detail about who controls the media, we were always taught to question what we are shown. Without realising it I have started to look at the end of the credits to see who owns this TV show or news report. One concept I never really heard about was the ‘public sphere’. Although it’s not what is put into the public sphere that’s important, it is what the audience reacts to – which in-turn causes debates and conversation – that is crucial to society. I never understood why it was so important about who owns the media, but whoever owns the media is controlling the content that is entering the public sphere. That is why it’s important to have a variety of voices…That is why there is such a high value on blogs today.

It’s crazy to think that it was only a month ago that we started these blog posts. I have always been a bit of a micro blogger on Tumblr, which has been helpful in that it has helped me adjust to using WordPress but at the same time it might have restricted my audience. What I mean by that is, I am use to writing to a specific audience on Tumblr, it has shaped how I address issues and even my writing styles. To have your own writing style is really important when blogging, I have learnt that from reading everyone’s blog posts, as you need to have your own voice to stand out. The problem I faced during these last couple of weeks is that I hadn’t found a way to both sound sophisticated as everyone else had managed to do and still use my writing style.

Shipping it publicly

Before you hit me with your keyboards, give me a chance to explain. I’m over twilight as much as the next person BUT it is a really good case for the public sphere and how something can cause so much debate. Firstly, the public sphere is where people can openly discus issues and ideas. The Internet has become the most popular place for these discussions of increasing variety; Politics to technology, movies to health concerns.

Look at the debates on the Internet about twilight. As soon as those books were released Fandoms were screaming out for team Edward and team Jacob. Yeah great no one really cares about that but there still was a lot of debate caused over it. As any good shipper worth their keys, they began to write fan fictions (Shipper: the term “shipper” comes from supporting a ship. To ship something means a person wants two characters to get together and/or shows support for two characters already together – Urban Dictionary) One writer in particular gained massive popularity for her twilight inspired fan fics, so much so that they were made into our beloved 50 shades of grey.

50 Shades of Grey changed the landscape of the literary world, being placed at #1 for 50 weeks straight on some best-seller lists. What has been the impact on the public sphere due to the books popularity? Fans trying to recreate scenes from 50 shades of grey, have in many cases had very damaging effects on their relationships:

British woman is divorcing her husband after he refused to re-create scenes from E.J. James’ best-selling novel…”The woman had been reading the book and wanted to spice up her love life,” the wife’s attorney, Amanda McAlister, said. “She thought their sex life had hit a rut — he never remembered Valentine’s Day and he never complimented her on her appearance. So she bought sexy underwear in an attempt to get her husband more involved. She said, ‘Let’s make things more interesting.” [1]

If you were to Google 50 shades of grey how many results would you get? When I googled it 83,700,000 results were found! Articles like:

What does the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey Say about our Sexuality

Why women Really like “50 Shades of Grey”

Explaining ’50 Shades’ wild success – CNN.com

50 Shades of Grey is best-selling book of all time – Telegraph

50 things I hate about 50 Shades of grey

And its about to be reintroduced to the public sphere in even more formats: a movie, soundtrack, television show, even a musical have all been suggested if not already in production. And just think all of this was started because Twilight was introduced to the public sphere.