The so called 'public sphere' is a real thing and not just an illsion in today's consumer based society. You can see it everywhere in marketing and how companies react to the public. If something is to sell well, then it needs to catch fire with some people, and then spread out to who they know and so on and so forth.
The so-called 'public sphere' is just an illusion in today's consumer-based society. The public sphere is an area in social life where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence political action. It is "a discursive space in which individuals and groups congregate to discuss matters of mutual interest and, where possible, to reach a common judgment.
Unfortunately, the public sphere has now become a myth because prviate spheres are mostly non-existent. The fact of the matter is that our consumer-based society lacks privacy, which too many people seem comfortable with. Americans should demand their privacy back and do what they can to remain anonymous in today's world.
In today's consumer based society, the choice and the influence the public has is a simple thumbs up or thumbs down in the form of buying or not buying a given product. All the gibbering on Facebook, all the warbling about "true intent" or what have you is just a convenient way to keep you distracted from the fact that the only consumer choice for the "public sphere" is what corporations decide you should have.
Even in Congress, lobbyists from so-called non-profit groups get the ear of lawmakers all the time. These lobbying groups are funded by companies and individuals with agendas. The so-called "public sphere" from local governments up to Washington, D.C., is replete with private interests trying to get their way. The public sphere is really just a shadow for interests playing out behind the scenes of government.