The Theory Of The Panopticon

1433 WordsOct 24, 20166 Pages
In this day and age, social media has become the norm, from the news to any person with access to the internet, have become reliant to fast a paced platform. Michel Foucault, 20th century French philosopher and social theorist, fully developed the theory of the panopticon, created by English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. The panopticon, described by Bentham, is a prison structure where there are three walls constructed around the prisoner leaving an empty space where a fourth wall would normally be. The entire structure is usually in a circle, the prisoner knows that there are inmates to their left and right, but there is no way for them to communicate with one another. In the middle of the panopticon, there is a clearing where the watch tower stands. This is where the warden can observe the inmates, but there no way the inmates know when the warden is in the tower or not. The inmate does not know when they are or not being observed, for the entrance to the tower is underground. This makes the inmate to behave a different manner at all times because they do not know when they are being observed. Social media, has become in a way, a new panoptical platform where not only does the observed continue to be observed but also become the observer. There have been many discussions as to whether we can escape the panopticon through social media. We cannot escape the panopticon because there will always be someone observing us weather we put
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