Moores, Shaun. “The Doubling of Place: Electronic Media, Time-Space Arrangements and Social Relationships.” In Cloudy, Nick. and McCarthy, Anna., Eds. Media Space: Place, Scale and Culture in a Media Age. London: Rutledge, 2004, 21-37

In this article is seems Shaun Moores wants to emphasise that place is “pluralized, not marginalized.” (p. 21) Instead of viewing new media technologies as disconnecting and disorientating agents he desires the reader to think about their ability to allow us to be in “two places at once” (p. 21) and to see this as a beneficial occurrence.  People, places and events around the world are accessible as “electronically mediated communication transcends the boundaries of physical settings.” (p. 23) Boundaries between public and private have shifted, as technologies such as teleconferencing allow your private space to become your public one.

 

This is evident in the first and third examples in the text where public events intrude into the private space (Princess Diana’s funeral) and private events intrude into the public space (the woman on the mobile telephone). In regards to Princess Diana Moores speaks of the “construction of celebrity’” (p. 25) and this can be seen as another effect of the doubling of place where “a pluralizing of space and relationships.” (p. 27) takes place. A relationship is created where there was none in a social space, the blurring boundary between public and private, which could not exist before.

 

I agree with the author in that we must not see this doubling of space as simply a threat to local cultures. The phenomenon does “not necessarily lead to the loss of a sense of place” (p. 23) but could be seen to strengthen the idea of place. For example, being able to access your country of origin’s news and current affairs almost anywhere can give you an increased sense of space, as “cultures in our ‘electronic society’ are ‘relatively placeless’” (p. 22) and in my opinion having a sense of place and being placeless are not mutually exclusive.

 

Furthermore, electronic media allow entire cultures to exist online. Internet culture is a very real thing, especially amongst the younger generation, where turns of phrase and ideas spread globally with the use of these technologies.  Moores’ second example of the “mud” (p. 27) demonstrates how it is possible to participate online while retaining awareness of your physical surroundings. Space can be doubled, tripled, (perhaps the multiplying of space is a better phrase) and though this can be overwhelming it is not a negative thing. To be able to “exist in ‘many roles’ and ‘many worlds’ at the ‘same time’ (p. 28) is extraordinary and creates opportunities that could not exist before and I believe this should not be overlooked when considering the effects of new media technologies upon space. 

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