What is Free Expression?

When I think about free expression, I believe it is much bigger than just a societal concept. Yes, it is an essential piece of a healthy society but it is also essential for our personal lives. It’s not just about being able to speak up in public, it’s also about how we define ourselves, our beliefs and even our values. Free expression is vital for democracy, it keeps the conversation going, brings up new ideas, and challenges each other. On a more personal level, free expression is about figuring out and expressing our true selves. It is how we tell our stories, share our experiences and how we stand up for what we believe in.

Free expression really matters for our identity, both who we are in public and who we are personally. It’s about being able to say what we think and believe. It lets us show the world who we are and what we stand for, and it can help us all see ourselves as important members of our communities.

In Michel Foucault’s lectures on ‘parrhesia,’ which basically, means speaking openly and honestly, he explains how being truthful shapes who we are and how it has being doing so throughout ancient history. When someone practices parrhesia, they’re not just talking to talk, they are actually showing courage and honesty because what they say might hurt but it is their truth. This kind of speaking helps shape their identity. It makes them known as someone brave enough to say the truth and it also helps them stay true to themselves and their beliefs.

Teresa M. Bejan’s discussion on free speech also shows how important free expression is for taking part in our society. When we can express ourselves freely we can become part of the bigger conversations in our communities, country and even our world. It doesn’t just affect how others see us but it also affects how we see ourselves. We feel like we’re really a part of something and that our opinions matter when we use free expression.

I absolutely believe that free expression is worth protecting, especially from my own perspective as a digital media student. In both digital and traditional media, the freedom to express our ideas is essential for creativity, innovation, and informing the public. It empowers us to look at many different narratives and contribute to societal discussions (like this blog). Protecting free expression helps to ensure that all voices can be heard and can make an impact.

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