What is the place of paranoia in the interpersonal surveillance?
Paranoia plays a large role within interpersonal surveillance via social media. Paranoia that your significant other is being unfaithful due to their social media activity is common and can often lead to more extreme levels of interpersonal surveillance. Elphinstone and Noller proposed the idea that the origin of this form of surveillance is due to ‘excessive attachment’ or addiction to social media sites such as Facebook. Feelings of distress occur when removed from social media from any prolonged period and this combined with the inability to control usage of the site are the main contributing factors leading to interpersonal surveillance via social media.
There are various opinions on the impact that social media has had on interpersonal relationships. Albrechtslundlooks at interpersonal surveillance as ‘participatory surveillance’ and argues that it can be empowering, as it is a voluntary way for people to engage and construct identities. He believed it is a way of maintaining friendships by checking up on information other people share. In contrast to this, Andrejevic does not believe that lateral surveillance is democratic but argues that it reinforces and replicates the ‘imperatives of security and productivity’. He also argues that the capability to carry out these forms of surveillance at a lateral level invite us all within society to ‘become spies’.