Thursday, March 20, 2008

public behavior

Does publicity warrant good behavior? Does it induce the behavior that was intended? When thinking about my own personal experiences in public, and the 'happy slapping' video we watched in class I have concluded that publicity only induces good behavior when its penalties outweigh the benefits. The attraction to misbehaving in public is simply the thrill factor. When I was in high school my friends and I used to videotape ourselves acting crazy in public places, wearing banana suits and invading peoples personal space, without actually doing anything wrong other than annoying bystanders. (Beantown Banana) There could be zero repercussions for this behavior. The worst that happened is a police officer or a park official would tell us to stop what we were doing and we would just move locations and continue. However in malls and such, the thrill factor runs into a barrier when the behavior can result in steeper penalties. In areas of business and commerce, when more is at stake, there seems to be more of a control system set in place. Yet still there will always be reactions against that control. The fear of being videotaped and having evidence of your acts is an afterthought, it is more about the present. The immediate time and place, people's reactions to you, your reaction to them. It is all a personal limbo of sorts, escalating rapidly over the travesty of capture and control. The more imposed regulations the more people will react. People want to be seen, that is why it is so attractive to be videotaped and put online. it is the desire to be known, without the fear of judgment because with digital media you manipulate what is viewed. If it is a foreign device capturing you then what is at stake remains to the location and the circumstances. It is 1984ish with the privacy issues, but privacy is really only important when YOU feel safe and secure. It doesn't matter if you actually are, if you feel this way, then you are in privacy. It is different for everyone.

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