Recording in progress…

Panopticism is embedded in our society, most obviously through cameras. Traffic cameras, security cameras, people’s cameras on their phones, cameras. Panopticism operates on the principle that because you assume you are always being watched, you act differently even though you might not necessarily be watched. Traffic/speeding cameras are tall in the sky and are always there; it is the assumption that they are on, so people slow down because they don’t want to get a ticket. You don’t even have to see the camera go off before you slow down at the first sight of cameras you slow down. The repercussions are simply a ticket; you don’t go to jail, your car won’t get taken, nothing corporal but enough to deter the behavior. However, the speeding cameras aren’t always on. Some are programmed for specific times, and some aren’t on at all, but the cameras are still there, so the change in behavior is still there. There is no way for you to verify if the speeding cameras work without risking getting a ticket, so you won’t speed. Police presence also gives the same effect if the police are driving in the same direction; people will go really slow and follow as many rules of the road as possible so the police won’t find a reason to give them a ticket. This is also the assumption that police are watching you. Sometimes, they simply mind their business driving, and other times, they check people’s license plates. Security cameras in stores are another example. I have seen several videos of store owners or former employees saying the cameras aren’t real, they’re not connected, or they just don’t work, but they are still there. The cameras deter stealing. This effect only works if the people don’t know if they work or not, but to be on the safe side, they won’t steal.

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