Panopticism in My Life

Panopticism has embedded itself into various aspects of modern society, and Americans and most of the Western world are no strangers to its influences. One prominent exhibition of panopticism and its influence on behavior and social dynamics is through surveillance technology such as video cameras and security systems. Their unavoidable presence makes individuals aware that they are constantly being watched. A small and almost undetectable piece of equipment serves as a reminder that if a person tries to commit a crime, they will be caught; it is a subtle yet powerful influence on human behavior that prompts people to conform to societal norms and to remain obedient to laws. Surveillance technology is everywhere from schools to grocery stores and even in homes; there is almost no place that you can go that is void of the presence of security monitoring. The effectiveness of this technology is so effective in its influence that it is not common for people to have decoy video cameras around that don’t work but are in place as a scare tactic to prevent individuals from committing crimes. It is true that there are people who are still willing to commit crimes despite the presence of surveillance technology; however, the fear of knowing that the technology is so effective in identifying and capturing footage leaves most citizens feeling compelled to adhere to rules and regulations for fear of being reprimanded or penalized. This application of panopticism is so effective that many institutions and businesses have continued to advance such technology creating interactive robes and drones that follow customers around as they shop and peruse through stores further serving as a reminder to abide by laws because they are being watched and directly identified. Surveillance technologies serve as a prime example of how panopticism has manifested in modern society and, to a significant extent, regulated and influenced human behavior.

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