Social of the Spectacle, with reference to ‘Separation

Social media has changed the
way we live our lives. It has replaced the way we communicate between one
another and even where we get our news from. What’s even more remarkable is
that it happened so fast, that people hardly realised just how much it had
affected their lives. There are many positive and negative aspects associated
to such a highly technological world within social media due to its complexity
and yet, we have only just scratched the surface. Naturally, its fair to say

technological advancements
have made communications far more accessible by people around the globe on both
a personal and professional level. However, some people feel that social media
sites such as Facebook (Facebook, 2017) are replacing the need of face to face
interaction. Furthermore, online interactions may become a substitute for human
contact itself. Social media can encourage a user to post things through it’s
false impression of reality. With both positive and negatives in mind, we have
to remember that social media will continue to grow, encompassing more of our
lives and capturing our identities and it will be down to us as a society to
whether we remain in control of technology or let technology control us.

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                  This concept of false unification can be seen
predominately in Guy Debord’s theory of the Spectacle, with reference to
‘Separation Perfected’ and ‘The Commodity of the Spectacle’ in his book
“Society and the Spectacle” (Debord, 1967). Essentially the Spectacle operates
as a non-human third-party presence, a controller of our social interactions
which we automatically allow as we believe we our building relations with other
people but realistically this mechanism is our only relation. The spectacle
today however, has changed into a variety of other formats. It can be found on
every screen you see; from the advertisements you see downtown to the pop up
adds on your internet browser. The spectacle has now merged with our reality,
feeding us continuous fragments of commodifiable information through both image
and text which we now take in a lot quicker. At this moment, “over 40% of the
world’s population uses the internet” (, 2018) with a total
of “1.37 billion daily active users on Facebook” (, 2018) and it
now seems increasingly difficult to escape this ever adapting presence that has
become so much apart of our lives, that we can now no longer live without it.

This dissertation will look more into Guy Debord’s theory of the Spectacle and
how new technologies have changed this theory over time whilst also considering
how a difference of medium can alter the amount of information we take in. To
do this I will be analyzing various texts discussing the development of Debord’s
concept of the spectacle whilst searching case studies on both the positives
and negatives of being a highly digital civilization.