Is Focault Right ?

Panopticism describes a system of power and control wherein individuals internalize the belief that they are being watched, leading them to regulate their behavior accordingly. Social media has become a modern tool of communication and idea sharing, but also surveillance and control. Thus, embedding panopticism into all of our digital interactions, whether we know it or not.
One way in which panopticism manifests in social media is through the constant visibility and exposure facilitated by these platforms. Users willingly share personal information, thoughts, and activities, knowing that their posts are visible to their friends, followers, and even the broader public. Social media platforms incorporate feedback mechanisms such as likes, comments, and shares, which serve as indicators of social approval or disapproval. This visibility creates a sense of being under constant observation, compelling individuals to curate their online personas and conform to perceived societal norms. The fear of judgment or social ostracism motivates individuals to adhere to certain behaviors and presentation styles deemed acceptable within their online communities.
I am currently taking Social Psychology class, and I have learned that majority of what we do, ho owe behave, decisions we make, and how we interact with others is due to how we think we will be perceived by others. Impression management is an aspect of self presentation theory, which refers to the process by which individuals attempt to control or manipulate the impressions others form of them. It involves consciously or unconsciously regulating one’s behavior, appearance, and communication to shape how others perceive and evaluate them. This is exactly what occurs when we use social media. People only put their “best” selves out there and act in certain ways because they understand that other people are watching.
In conclusion, social media has emerged as a powerful mechanism of panopticism in contemporary society. Through constant visibility, feedback mechanisms, and peer surveillance social media platforms create environments where individuals internalize the belief that they are being watched, compelling them to behave “properly” according to prevailing norms and expectations.

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