Has Facebook indirectly transformed society into voyeurs and peeping toms?
If we relate Facebook to Guy’s Debord theory, that the, “spectacle is a social relation among people, mediated by images”, then we can consider Facebook as a digital representation of spectacle. Through Facebook not only that we we expose ourselves, but we also like to look at other people’s profiles, pictures or statuses. In theory this can be referred to as Scopophilia, defined as the love of looking in its most simplistic, base description. This can be further divided into voyeurism (the desire to look at other people) and exhibitionism (the desire to expose oneself). While voyeurism looks at passively watching other people’s profiles in our case, exhibitionism involves some kind of active participation – By updating our personal information and status, joining groups, adding personal interests etc. we advertise our lives with text and images. Therefore, I would say we both create and consume the spectacle.
Personally, I think social media is an ever-growing business of people sharing, finding, looking into other people’s businesses (public or private). On Facebook, a large number of audience simply enjoy watching, observing, commenting on other people comments or statuses. Inevitably, one may think this is creating a kind of voyeurism or peeping toms or creepy/anonymous watchers in society. However, in my view, the technology itself does not transform society. But, as society was becoming more peeping, the technology took advantage of it. In conclusion, I wouldn’t say it has transformed our society into voyeurs and peeping toms. Instead, social media have given people who love watching others more channels for their interests.