Can we equate the coffee shop discussions of 18th-century England that Habermas says was the ground for a public sphere to the virtual discussion platforms of the Internet?
I think the two are quite similar. Coffee shops used to be the center of social interaction. Today we have social media which is essential the center of our social interactions. People used to go to pass the time at their local shop – get some coffee and catch up on gossip and news. Today people pass the time by pulling out their cell phones and getting on the internet to check out Facebook, their preferred news site or whichever other
Today if you want the latest most current information you get online. Back then, you went to the coffee shop. Additionally, you can find an assortment of information via each – not just serious political news, but also gossip and entertainment. Just as different coffee shops were known for different information types, different websites or types of media are known for different quality or type of information. You may check out Perez Hilton for the latest celebrity news but head towards NYT when you want something a bit more intellectually stimulating.