Public vs Private Sphere

To some degree of what I am able to observe now between public and private spaces have not much dissimilarity anymore as technologies have develops richer and indeed the undeniable behavior of media users has change in revolution. I cannot certainly define mere differences between the public and private space at this instant, I tend to get puzzle within the meaning of these contexts. Indeed, Patterson. M (2010) has referred that ‘Indeed, it is doubtful that the institutional division between the private and public sectors has ever been sharp enough in modern society to serve as a sufficient explanation for the difference between public and private space.’.

However, is my own home considered as private sphere in this context? I may have an answer of personally ‘yes’ but in others view they might be doubtful and argues an own personal home is definitely private sphere if there is completely no one else in the setting except you and the place is belong to you. For example, it is also considered not private if there is another person either not near to you in the room or the person in another locked room. Therefore, I define that public space significance to a place that does not belong to you and filled with public of peoples that you might know or not know.

The indication of distinguishing between public and private space has stated by Pitkin (1981) is the private is ‘in here’, personal, intimate, closest to the self, secluded from unwanted others, where we have ‘privacy’ and are free to be ourselves. By way of contrast the public is ‘out there’, impersonal, distant and formal. To narrow down the explanation of this context of public and private spaces, I take the use of cellphone into this concern. For instance, every one of us owns a cellphone and essentially to equipped as a gadget for communications and obtain information from the internet. Many of us have tell between that Facebook, Twitter or Blogspot is a sphere which describes as public spaces and in contrast the phone application, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and SMS is considered as private spaces. In this concern, the argumentation can be made in terms of affirming it as public or private space and it can certainly differentiate by the place you use the applications and websites. For example, when you thought that it is certainly private to use the cellphone Whatsapp to text a personal message in a place that fill with people surrounds you, hence in fact that it is not true. Although, there is not one else can access to that private message you are texting but it probably accidentally peek or seen by other ones that surrounded you. Private space completely means that, using your cellphone purely alone and no one else is in the room and this is surely meant it is a private space.

Nowadays, people should learn to distinguish the consumption of public and private space in to consideration. However, the speedy developments of technology have made people unclear of the implications distinguishing the differentiation of public and private spaces. People have to empower about the trust of acknowledging the consumption of public and private spaces for their own upright. It have been supported that Burnham S (2012) have referred that ‘Tensions between the private and the public are born from an imbalance in these areas – and imbalanced environments are barren of trust’.


A, West, 2012. Students’ Facebook ‘friends’: public and private spheres. Journal of Youth Studies, [Online]. 12, 6. Available at: [Accessed 25 August 2013].

Burnham, S, 2012. Designing Opportunity . Private vs Public: Space, Sharing, Trust and Design – A Talk at Social Cities Amsterdam, [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 25 August 2013].

M, Patterson, 2010. What Makes Public Space Public?. Michigan Social Theory Conference 2010, [Online]. 3. Available at: [Accessed 25 August 2013].