Prison in Mind

Out of all the thoughts from last week’s topic, the idea of public shaming demonstrated by the case of Justine Sacco stood out to me the most.

Apparently, as indicated by Glenn Greenwald in his TED talk, it all started when 18th- century philosopher Jeremy Bentham devised an architectural design called the panopticon to resolve the problem of not being able to monitor and control each one of the members of constantly growing large institutions (a.k.a. prisons). The whole point of this design was to make inmates believe that they could be watched at any moment and anywhere, even when no one was actually watching them, but they would never know. It was believed that this would be the ultimate enforcer for obedience and compliance. What is more, in the 20th-century, a French philosopher Michel Foucault suggested that this aforementioned effect may be applied to not just prisons, but to every institution that seeks to control human behavior, including schools, hospitals, factories and workplaces. So there you go, that’s where the prison in mind came from.


pnrk: The hardest prison to escape is in your mind.

So, how is this then related to public shaming?

Human beings are social animals, we have the will to stay connected, which is why we share online. Yet, at the same time, we have a desire to be at a place where we are able to be free of judgemental eyes of other people. In fact, human nature causes our behavior to dramatically change when being watched or judged by others, as we are well aware of what other people think – human shame is very powerful motivator, as is the will to avoid it.

Consequently, when people publicly shame others, that is, abusing the free speech and privacy, it’s like putting others in another type of prison in mind, extending the negative influences beyond the victims’ personal life and career. As suggested in a post by The Guardian, for the first time in centuries, online mediums like Twitter have given people who often feel excluded and powerless a megaphone to finally shout, argue, gossip and abuse, creating an army of tweeters who shelter behind their digital ‘privacy’ to abuse other people’s privacy. Just like Sacco’s case, the victims of public shaming are constantly being watched and judged, like an inmate in the ‘mind prison’ in the head of the people in the so-called army.

Admittedly, there are reasons why people engage in public shaming. In a Huffington Post post about public shaming of drunk racegoers, Psychologist Meredith Fuller proposed that people make such moral judgments in order to deny the naughtiness in themselves, so they project their own insecurities, fears, resentments or concerns onto the one thing or person triggering those feelings. Particularly, the main reason why people shame others online is simply because it’s online. With the use of a shortcut way to express an opinion, there’s no real connection or experience with the person being shamed and consequently, people tend to overlook the real damage and pain, of becoming like an inmate in a prison.


Brooks, E. (2016) The Psychology Behind Public Shaming Of Drunk Racegoers. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 26/11/16)

Greenwald, G. (2014) Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters. TED. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 26/11/16)

The Guardian (2014) Twitter abuse: easy on the messenger. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 26/11/16)

Prison image. Retrieved from:



Reflective Summary: Developing an online professional profile: Marketing yourself!

A year ago today, if someone asked me about ways in which an authentic online professional profile can be developed, I would have come up with some rather old news: creating a profile on LinkedIn, or uploading a set of cv and cover letter onto websites like Whereas, if you ask me now, I would tell you to be careful not to post any of your drunk pictures onto your Facebook or Instagram accounts, due to the current trend showing that the online social media platforms are now very much involved in the recruitment processes.

This week’s topic, too, is very much linked to the previous ones. As we now know how it is like to have a more ‘authentic’ online identity, we then look further into how it can be presented in a 10-second long snap, in order to grasp the attention of the recruiters. And as suggested by Tobie’s amusing ironic analogy of Trump’s approach in the election, an unauthentic and unqualified strategic approach may yield negative consequences. Thus, it is now getting more and more important to understand how to self-promote using your online social platforms. It is believed that blogging, being consistent through images and texts across online social mediums, carefully choosing what to present to the public, will help to show your creativity, passion, interests and dedication even without submitting a typical paper CV. Besides, as Will indicated in his post, it is crucial to show who you really are across all platforms and to not just follow the rules and instructions like everyone else does.

Finally, this week’s topic has also made me realise how the authenticity required and the growing involvement of online social platforms in recruitment may eventually make it necessary that everyone wears a mask even in the digital world, as any socially undesirable acts may lead to major negative consequences like public shaming, as shown in Justine Sacco’s tragedy.

Links to my comments:

Will’s Blog

Tobie’s Blog

Developing an online professional profile: Marketing yourself!

While a typical work place in the past was dominated by the one-way method, which goes top bottom from boss to employees, today’s work place should look more like a jazz band, as suggested by Don Tapscott (2014). It is believed that a two-way street is more in favour of today’s constantly changeable work environment. Besides, as indicated by Nyk Nyman, with the rise in use of the social media, the job search process today should work the same way.

Tapscott (2014) proposed that the recruitment today should process as a dialogue initiated by creativity, collaboration and personal marketing. In fact, Nyk Nyman pointed out that 77% of all job postings are posted on LinkedIn and while 94% of all recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates (66% for Facebook and 54% for Twitter) at all levels. As a consequence, it is believed that having an authentic online professional profile is not about having just ONE LinkedIn profile that displays your academic and professional side anymore, it is more about self-promotion using a combination of online platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, personal websites and blogs.

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-8-59-24-pmIn a BBC video, Michael Weiss, a web marketing coach mentioned that self-promoting online is about how you are telling your own story; showing your passion, why you do what you do, who you are; expressing your interest through the online platforms. And more importantly, as suggested by Nyk Nyman, you get roughly ten seconds to show all the aforementioned aspects to the recruiters due to the high competition. Thus, this is where the challenge comes in – how can you attract and fascinate companies using a 10 seconds long snap packed with a summary that highlights what makes you stand out as a strong candidate?

On the other hand, while Tapscott talked about how blogging should be involved in his idea of an ideal work-learning environment, a post by TheEmployable described how blogging could be a part of an online professional profile that would help with job hunt. It was suggested that blogging not only allows for display of your creativity, communication skills and passion, it also shows your effort to dedicate yourself to task even when it is completely optional. Furthermore, I would think a good real-life example of blogging in a different way is posting videos on platforms like YouTube. For instance, many successful YouTubers like Tanya Burr and Zoella who have started by sharing aspects of their lives in videos, have gained publicity and were later provided opportunities to further develop their own career in the beauty industry by launching books, their own brand and products.

Despite the usefulness of an online profile in job-hunt, it is crucial to be cautious when making decisions about what to put on social media. Inattentive postings on social platforms like Twitter could lead to serious negative consequences like public shaming, as indicated in a New York Times Magazine post by Jon Ronson (2015).


BBC (2013) Job hunting: How to promote yourself online. BBS: News. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 12/11/16.)

Nyman, N. (2014) Using social media in your job search. University of Southampton: Web Science MOOC. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 12/11/16.)

Ronson, J. (2015) How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 12/11/16.)

TheEmployable (2014) How blogging can help you get a job. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 12/11/16.)

Reflective Summary: Having more than one identity online: More authentic or more vulnerable?

This topic was a thought-provoking one. New online identities are created by us everyday, with just a few clicks and a few pieces of information provided, we can create an account on any website almost unconsciously – we are so used to these processes that we don’t even need a second think to do it. I personally would register different accounts for different purposes. For instance, as suggested in Davina’s post, LinkedIn could be used to display a more academic and professional side whilst Instagram and Facebook allows people to constantly update friends and family, or provide an online platform for information exchange.

On the other hand, over the last decade, there has been a rapid growth in number of Facebook and Google users, and with these companies promoting the ‘authenticity’ of having one online identity, people are encouraged to tie their accounts together – as suggested by Nicole, “A Facebook account became a sort of passport to the rest of the web…” (Stone and Friar, 2014).

Accordingly, one might wonder whether it’s more beneficial to have one or more online identities. While Davina has raised concerns about a possible threat caused by misusage and abuse of the freedom of expression granted by online anonymity, a Forbes article mentioned by Nicole also pointed out how fragmenting personality whilst maintaining multiple online identities may make it extremely difficult to be a complete person offline, the result being a lasting social ramification. Nonetheless, Andrew Lewman argued that preserving anonymity allows for creativity as it gives people the fundamental power to forget and start over.

Anyhow, I personally do enjoy owning two Instagram accounts – while one private account allows me to share pieces of myself with my friends, the other foodie account provides me a platform to share experiences with the public without giving out personal details. Thus, in short, I would say freedom of expression and choice should be preserved, however, future education on this area should be accentuated.

Links to my comments:

Davina’s Blog

Nicole’s Blog