#NET102 – Understanding private and public space online

How do internet interfaces for music consumption and distribution change the ways in which we understand private and public space (and the way these intermingle)?

The line between public and private space is becoming increasingly indistinct. Laughey (2007) concurs with this notion, stating that “… the majority of new media technologies can operate in both private and public places – and, furthermore, their use blurs the boundaries between these two spheres” (p. 175).

This week’s exercise has led to the exposure of some of my musical tastes to my “professional” social media profiles. For example, I signed up on Pandora and when it came to selecting an account to associate my Pandora profile with, I had to decide between my public and private accounts. For my uni studies, I have always pushed my  study/work together in a professional context. Thus far, my musical tastes have been restricted to my “private” account, which does not refer to my real name. So, signing up for Pandora gave me pause for thought – which account should I use?

When digging deeper into the features of Pandora (which I have never used until now), I discovered that it’s really keen on associating everything with my Facebook account. I don’t like this feature much either… why would other people be interested in what I’m listening to? It strikes me as rather insular and self-absorbed.

I know that when this unit is over, I will, in all likelihood, delete or abandon my Pandora account. Perhaps I will open another in the future, using my pseudonym, as I would rather have my personal tastes on display in that account rather than in my professional accounts. I’m having trouble understanding why the two areas should meet.

For example, let’s say, for argument’s sake, that I liked to listen to death metal – a style of music that would probably contain a lot of offensive lyrics and/or screaming (for shock value). How would it look if I applied for a job at a Catholic school, teaching young minds, if my potential employer peeked at my Facebook page and found a connection in there to this kind of music through my Pandora account? I’d be reasonably certain that I would not get the job if this occurred. I can’t be sure that my Facebook account would not be checked as part of the screening process for applicants to the position being offered at the school.

Taking this further in my mind… if I censor myself in this way, for fear of the potential ramifications, am I not pandering to the possibility of a higher power dictating to me how I should act and behave online and/or in society? The lines are blurring there too… where does online start and finish?


Laughey, D. (2007). Music Media in Young People’s Everyday Lives. In J. Sexton (Ed.),   Music, Sound and Multimedia: From the Live to the Virtual (pp. 172-187): Edinburgh University Press. http://www.eblib.com


About Maha @ Uni

Studying online, and want to keep a record of my progress and experiences...
This entry was posted in #NET102, Digital Footprint, Internet, Music - Consumption, Music - Discovery, Music - Distribution, Privacy, Private & Public, Social Networks, Streaming Music and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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