Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

An Inescapable Panopticon

An Inescapable Panopticon

Emily Koumakis

Year 11, Holy Spirit College

The hypnotic facade of technology slowly consumes our surroundings, draining any sense of reality from our mentalities. In all directions, the world gradually crumbles, eventually submerged in various technological devices.

Enticing, hypnotic, inescapable. The world a horrid fusion of fiction and reality, the two dimensions indecipherable from one another. Nothing is the same. The entire atmosphere appears to be sullen and dry, the multitude of people embodying the role of immense blandness.

In their bleak expressions, the element of lifelessness is as clear as a drooping flower in a blooming paddock. Behind their eyes is a glimpse of hope; a fragment of the past-a period of time that became the past in a matter of a few years-helplessly dimming more and more each day, a burning flame nearing its end.

Amongst the darkness and obscurity of existence is the small ounce of light provided by the inhumane device clasped in their frail hands, a spotlight on every individual, separating them from the previous world of unity, now long forgotten. The luminous glow emitted by the irresistible accessories becomes a direct passageway to the underworld; eventually crossing the threshold to become the inferno itself.

The entire concept of intimate face-to-face interaction between humanity has been inevitably neglected, morphed into an inhumane monstrosity revolving around technological devices. All seem blind to the severity of the situation, unable to see it escalate as the sun falls and the moon rises each day. Living in a suffocating simulacrum, humanity begins to erode, falling directly into the trap they unknowingly built for themselves.

They try to envisage the past-a place where the concept of communication was understood and used consistently in everyday life-though to no avail. A moment of time prior to the uprising of the device is far too cloudy to truly identify. As the surrounding world begins to collapse before their unseeing eyes, the controversy at hand worsens, with no conspicuous solution to its destruction of the world's population.

Why must we rely on these particular devices to live life? Where did the past go, where 'talking' was a regular occurrence, not perceived as a never-before-seen action? Where did our vision of our surroundings suddenly disappear to upon the arrival of such technological devices? Will the solution become clear, or shall our world continue to cave in on itself with nothing to prevent it? Is there a hidden elucidation, one that will guide us to see again? How much longer must we wait until this clarification will show itself, and allow the world to be restored once more to a haven of realism?

We will not know. All we will see is the device clasped in our hands, encasing a plethora of languages and applications that will eventually become meaningless amidst the maze of the media.

I look around, unable to see

I will for my eyes to function as expected

And fall to my knees in desperation as I recognise failure.

There must be a way

To overshadow the current situation of reality

And restore it to its rightful place.

I try to see

Abandoning the device I used to cherish so dearly,

Now pleading for it to disappear.

How can I escape the penitentiary in which we are incarcerated?

An abominable site of solitary confinement,

A place with no apparent exit

A place we must liberate.

I must stand

And rise above the threatening power the device holds over humanity

And overthrow its strength with my own

Deep within my soul,

I plead for change

And wish for me to lead the world to a better place, finally escaping the panopticon.