Essay On Panopticon

Essay On Panopticon-22
In time, as the sense of being watched gets under their skin, prisoners come to regulate their behaviour as if they were in a Panopticon all times, even after they have been released from the institution.

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By making our actions and shares visible to a crowd, social media exposes us to a kind of virtual Panopticon.This is not just because our activities are monitored and recorded by the social media service for the purposes of producing market analysis or generating targeted advertising.For the most part, we can and do ignore this kind of data harvesting.No doubt this satisfies a deep psychological need for recognition.Whatever it is that drives it, it draws us back to share and share again.The point is that whatever action we take, we make a personal statement in doing so: ‘ like it’.We speak to a crowd of our personal preferences, and we like nothing more than for the crowd to affirm those preferences in return.We are still learning about how social media impacts on our sense of personal identity.The French philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-1984) has a set of insights that can help clarify how social media affects us on a psychological level.In Benthem’s design, the Panopticon is comprised of a ring of cells surrounding a central guard tower.The prisoners in the cells are perpetually exposed to the gaze of the guards in the tower, yet since they cannot themselves see into the tower, they are never certain whether or not they are being watched.


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