“The real heart of Bentham’s panoptic idea is that there are certain activities which are better conducted when they are supervised.” (The Guardian. Jul 23, 2015).

 

Nowadays all of us use the internet in order to search and share information about everything. We love to share our lives on the internet with pictures and videos. Snapchat and the Instagram’s upgrade called instastory have created a new “instant” way of photo and video sharing.

image-adapt-990-high-selfies_photo1-1396908261019
Collage of selfies taken by residents of New York. SelfieCity. 2014

“Can’t stay away from social media? You’re not alone; social networking is engineered to be as habit-forming as crack cocaine.” –Mike Elgan, Social media addiction is a bigger problem than you think. (Dec 14, 2015).

This “insatiable appetite for self-exposure” (Newsweek.com) makes that people are always trying to look prettier, smarter or more interesting than they are because they know they are being observed by people like them, looking for social acceptation or admiration. In order to look better, they do not act like themselves so most of time people’s profiles are fake, or simply, not real. There is a clear example on a Black mirror episode called Nosedive, where the main character tries to be perfect when other people is wathching in order to win points from them, so the more points you have, the better reputation you have, which it involves exclusive privileges.

Taking advantage of this fashion, a lot of companies check their workers’ profiles in order to make sure they are following the philosophy of the company in their private lives as well as at work, also, some of them fire the workers or o not hire someone because of their Facebook profiles. This action is morally questionable, but what I mean is that you have to be careful with what you post on social media, either out of duty or out of desire.

“Almost half of employers have rejected a potential worker after finding incriminating material on their Facebook pages, research has found.” (The Telegraph. Dec 11, 2010).

The Telegraph. Dec 11, 2010.

In the same way police also use this tool to find incriminating evidence so in some way we are being watched all the time, with or without a reason.

2016_10_05_socialmediasurveillance612481182
Tara Jacoby

In conclusion, when you know your boss or the police could be watching what you do on your social networks you will think twice before post something. To be aware you are being observed make you more “correct”.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Elgan, Mike. 2015 “Social media addiction is bigger problem than you think” http://www.computerworld.com/article/3014439/internet/social-media-addiction-is-a-bigger-problem-than-you-think.html

 2016 “Police Use Surveillance Tool to Scan Social Media, A.C.L.U Says”. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/12/technology/aclu-facebook-twitter-instagram-geofeedia.html?_r=0

Schulz. 2012 “Web Surveillance Through Social Media Sites A Powerful Tool For Local Law Enforcement”. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/04/web-surveillance-social-media_n_1854750.html

The Telegraph. 2010 “Half of  employers ‘reject potential worker after look at Facebook page’. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/6968320/Half-of-employers-reject-potential-worker-after-look-at-Facebook-page.html

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