Megan’s Discipline & Surveillance Blog Post



The topics that I chose to discuss were discipline and surveillance. Discipline can be defined in a different amount of ways. The definition of discipline according to Oxford Dictionaries is, “The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience,” (Oxford Dictionaries). I have a very similar definition of discipline; I consider discipline to be a way of regulating behavior. The other concept that I will be discussing is surveillance. The definition of surveillance according to Oxford Dictionaries is, “Close observation, especially of a suspected spy or criminal,” (Oxford Dictionaries). My definition of surveillance is the idea of being watched. The three unit areas that I will be discussing will be interpersonal communication, visual rhetoric and also mediated communication.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication ties into discipline and also surveillance in several different ways. According to Richmond the author of the book, Nonverbal Behavior in Interpersonal Relations, discusses how touch is a form of interpersonal communication, (Richmond). Touch is often used with discipline also. According to Bartlett, the author of the article, “The Power of Touch: How Physical Affection Helps with Discipline,”Person-to-person contact games naturally inhibit children’s impulsiveness; kids are able to sit still longer and have an increase in focused attention,” (Bartlett). Eye contact is also another aspect of interpersonal communication that contributes to discipline. We all know when we get scolded, whether it be by our parents, professors or elders in general. We have all experienced being scolded and then changed our actions because of that. This proves that the use of touch which is a form of interpersonal communication helps aid discipline, especially with children. Interpersonal communication also ties into surveillance. An example of interpersonal communication within surveillance is the use of space, sometimes individuals will get caught spying on other individuals, and that is when the use of space is violated.

Visual Rhetoric

Visual Rhetoric is found in discipline and also found within surveillance. One example of visual rhetoric and discipline is the use of stoplights. The use of stoplights is a type of visual rhetoric and also aids in discipline of traffic. Without stoplights there would be a lot more car accidents than there already is. You see when individuals do not follow the stoplights that are when car accidents happen; therefore stoplights are a type of discipline that individuals need to follow. Often times if individuals do not follow the stoplight directions it will lead to a ticket, if it is caught by a police. In Ohio, for disciplinary actions following running a red light can be up to a 200$ ticket, (Red Light & Speed Camera Fines). Some forms of visual rhetoric while discussing surveillance would be the signs that you sometimes see in people’s front lawn saying, “Protected by…” This signs stating that someone is watching their home often distracts people from coming to their house and is often times more successful than individuals who do not have those signs. Individuals often time even put signs in front of their house even if they aren’t protected by a certain surveillance company. Several houses around my area all of signs that they have lock systems, and are constantly being watching by surveillance but they are not, it is just a scare tactic so individuals that are not wanted to do not come to their home. According to an article online this is true, “While having a real alarm system installed is the best choice, just having a few home alarm stickers and signs around your property can do the trick as well,”(The Top Decoys to Scare off Burglars).

Mediated Communication

Mediated communication is also found in discipline and surveillance. One example how individuals use discipline within mediated communication is the different type of Snapchats you send to different people. For example, I send my best friends very different Snapchats than I send family members. For example, I will send my friends pictures of me drinking out on the weekends, but I do not send those type of Snapchats to my family. I also post different things on different social media sites, because of who are my friends on the different sites. For example I post more stuff about school and how I am doing on Facebook, and on Twitter I only tweet irrelevant funny comments. This is also because on Facebook I have more family members as friends, versus Twitter. According to a website, Friending someone on Facebook carries a far deeper connection then following on Twitter,” (Widrich). I would have to agree with Widrich’s statement. Surveillance is used within mediated communication because everything that you do online is being watched. Also, you are always told as a student not to post anything you wouldn’t want a future employer to see. We are taught that in order to have a successful future you are supposed to keep certain stuff offline because, “people are always watching.” According to an article written by Coats, “We now know that the NSA and other government agencies are obtaining data pertaining to Americans’ communications and activities from wireless providers, (Coats). This statement states that indeed we are being watched and listened to for every phone call and text message.


Works Cited

Coats, K. (n.d.). One Nation Under Surveillance. 5 Ways You Give The Government Control. Retrieved December 13, 2016, from

Connection, Positive Parenting. “The Power of Touch: How Physical Affection Helps with Discipline.” Positive Parenting Connection. N.p., 13 June 2013. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.

“Discipline.” English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Oxford, n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

 Red Light & Speed Camera Fines & DMV Driving Points by State. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2016, from

Remland, Martin S. Nonverbal Communication in Everyday Life. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage    Publications, 2017. Print.

Richmond, Virginia P., James C. McCroskey, and Mark Hickson. Nonverbal Behavior in Interpersonal Relations. 7th ed. Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon, 2012. Print.

“Surveillance.” English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Oxford, n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

The Top Decoys to Scare off Crooks. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2016, from

Widrich, L. (2016). 5 Important Differences Between Twitter And Facebook – The Buffer Blog. Retrieved December 13, 2016, from


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