Spirals of Empowerment in the Gutenberg Galaxy
The Spiral of Silence Theory was a beacon of enlightenment in an emerging sphere as it shone light on what is now a "blink of the eye" part of modern existence - communications and public opinion have since taken on epic movements of change and development. If we pause, even for a moment, to hear the silence, the spiral becomes less contrived and more organic. Our perceptions of people, places and opinions have become integral to not only how we live but, intrinsically, to how we exist in relation to the rest of the world. An opinion is often a thought, a post, a repost, a parable and everything in between. (I still like the Beatles.)
The Information Society as we experience it today is a cauldron of "ideas, attitudes and behaviours" that bears little resemblance to the utopian idea of a networked and well-informed reality we sometimes wonder about. (Keep calm and go social.) The divides, of which there are many, exist coevally but not with the revolutionary fervor that we discovered in our inter-textual moments. Nevertheless, aggregators and "shared value" now stabilize where substitution and extension have reasoned enough.
Of course perceptions matter. Our social environments are wrought by our needs and aspirations. Speaking out is a great convention. It is also a moment and, often, mistaken for a battle cry. Surely we have our technology in the right place should the moment arise? I do not advocate for dialogue and expression as a blanket solution. On the contrary, among the myriad factors that influence our mediated communications sphere, silence is foremost. (Language is also my favourite.)
Many divisions and dependencies surface in the path of life. Is an assumption the same as a perception? A need for quiet isolation is often temporal and spatial in dimension but also a felt moment of silence and harmony. Does the "anonymous public" truly exist? Are we all not part and parcel of the spiral and continually tagged by difference? (Not indifference, DIFFERENCE.) ICTs enable us to geotag and connect and communicate in unprecedented and unexpected ways. "The spiral of silence theory rests on the assumption that individuals constantly scan their environment in order to assess the climate of opinions i.e, the aggregate distribution of opinions on a given issue."