Sunday, 5 September 2010

The New Society in New Media in The Era of Democracy

In the era of Democracy, we (as public) are able to smell something fresh in our beloved country, Indonesia. What things that able to make us feel fresh in the newest system like democracy? Those things are, freedom of giving opinion through any mass media and freedom of the press. As we know, we have been indoctrinated by the goverment during the era of New Order (in Indonesia : Orde Baru). We have been indoctrinated that the policies of government were always right. In addition, we have never been given a chance to give criticism about the government and the policies. Ironically, the government also controlled the flow of information from mass media. The controlling of information (through mass media) was managed by the Mr. Soeharto and Departemen Penerangan. At that time, the content of the news from mass media was controlled by Departemen Penerangan. Yep, most of the news that we widely accepted is about the triumph of their policies. We were scarcely given about the negative things of government and policies. After controlling this country for 32 years, public were united to resist by holding a huge of demonstrations in all over Indonesia. Many demonstrations were held by college students, activists, and politicians at every level of society. I still remember that many chaos happened in every demonstration. And finally, Soeharto took off his duty as the president of Indonesia and then he was substituted by Mr. BJ. Habibie. We continously entered the door of new era, called by Era Reformasi, from 1998 until now. In Era Reformasi, we are able to feel the fresh smell of Democracy. This is indicated from freedom of the press and freedom of giving opinion.

Freedom of the press and giving opinion

Literally, press is the fourth pillar in democracy. This fact can be proven from many mass media grow up gradually in the end of 1998-1999. Entering the new period of 2000, mass media started to give something critical and skeptical about the government and the policies. There are almost no revocation and domination of the press by the government. If there were a little bit of revocation or domination of the press, the news would still be appeared critically. I guarantee for this.

Why do the press grow up freely and critically? Because of the system in Democracy. Democracy has been pushing the society, the press, and the government, to think, to speak, and to act critically. This means freedom of giving opinion. Speaking of this, the rule of giving opinion has been written in pasal 28 Undang-Undang Dasar 1945 and Undang-Undang Pers Nomor 40 Tahun 1999. That is why most of us are being more critical than most of us are in New Order. That is why many mass media are being more critical than mass media are in New Order. Moreover, we are able to show off our critical thinking through mass media. As Juergen Habermas said that mass media always will be the public sphere for public either in a democracy country or a non-democracy country. Yup, mass media always will be the watchdog of government and the public sphere for the society. Yet, mass media (newspaper, magazine, television, and radio) shall face and follow the flow of globalization, this includes how mass media could adapt with the improvement of technology in order to provide a lot of empty spheres for the society, due to the role of mass media as a public sphere.


The exist of social media networking sites

As a matter of fact, we all were faced by the improvement of technology during the 21st century. We aren't able to avoid any improvements of technology, especially for technology communication, e.g. internet, blackberry, Ipad, and many more. The improvement of technology communication brings the society all over the world to get closer with informations. The improvement of technology communication brings the society all over the world to keep updated and to keep connected with informations. And one thing for sure, the improvement of technology communication brings the society all over the world to react and to criticize either any kinds of policy or any kinds of government.

One easiest way that how we use the technology communication for giving critisism is by using the internet. By using the internet, we are able to talk, discuss, and share about what we thought. Moreover, currently, we find many free facilities (through the internet) to post our critical thinking. Those free facilities are called by social media networking sites. How many social media networking sites that have been provided for us? Social media networking sites are getting many more and more, such as facebook, twitter, multiply, and any sorts of. Can you imagine that how many people in the world use all those social media networking sites in every day? I think, almost all humans in the world use social media networking sites to support their life needs, especially in terms of our right to get information as many as possible.

The civilization of human has already changed. Human needs the improvement of technology communication to support their life. Human needs the internet to make their life more efficiency and more practical. Human needs social media networking sites to describe about what they thought into the words. One thing, for sure, Human believes that social media networking sites have fully strength to change the world. In social media networking sites, human are united to be – what we called by – mass society or public. Therefore, public comes recently as the new society in the new media.


According to the passage above, the new society has emerged which accompanied by social media networking sites as the new media. The new media has unexpected characteristics and unexpected functions in every aspect of life. One of unexpected characteristics is critical public. The more critical our society, the more loudly we speak, through social media sites. The more loudly we speak, the more changes we get. Besides an unexpected characteristic, the new media also produced unexpected functions. An unexpected function will always be appearing in the changes of mass media, including the exist of social media networking sites. Like two concepts that given by Robert K. Merton (one of sociologist), these two concepts are manifest function and latent function. Manifest function is an expected function that arise from the change. Whereas, latent function is an unexpected function that arise from the change.


One of unexpected functions is many policies had been canceled because of our voices and our opinions in the new media. This means, sometimes we need talking too much on every social media networking sites, because mass media will help to highlight our voices to the government. And many policies had been canceled because of our voices on social media networking sites. Guys, do you still remember about Bibit-Chandra’s Case? Prita Mulyasari’s Case? Dana Aspirasi’s Case? these facts show that our voices (on social media networking sites) will be giving much influences to the making process of any policies. The example cases (such as Bibit-Chandra’s Case, Prita Mulyasari’s Case, and Dana Aspirasi’s Case) describe how the new society can change and refuse either the government or the policies through social media networking sites. By giving voices on social media networking sites, we don't judge the government negatively, we only express voice of the voiceless.

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