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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Digital HR Practices and Unconscious: What's happening beneath the surface?

The development of digital practices entails heavy changes in organizations. Digital technologies are part of the technology progress that society and mainly corporations currently welcome without major restraints. The seductive capacities of DIGITAL are indeed numerous and match the development objectives of companies: productivity, efficiency, mitigation of time and distance, innovation, powerful communication and data processing. On the other hand, awareness is rising with regard to the human outcome induced by the introduction of digital technologies and too few studies were conducted in the field of human sciences. We think that psychoanalysis should also get interested with DIGITAL practices that involve individuals and their organizational behaviors/performances. We have chosen to develop in this paper such DIGITAL practices with regard to the ethical dilemma that is a characteristic of the mechanism of the unconscious. We are interested in the study of what we call 'Ethical Position of a Person' witch, in this case, is determined by the history of processes of identifications (FREUD) and it's consequences concerning the materializations of the Desire during one's experience of life. We are particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms of thinking, fantasizing, acting out and reacting with affects as well as demands and dreams that takes place in one experience when the transitional object (WINNICOTT) is being played by digital gadgets, in particular, the use of the applicative called 'Whatsapp'. If the 'Unconscious is structured as a language'(LACAN), we then want to propose the following questions:1) what can be considered as a 'formation of the unconscious' when two or more people are using a whatsapp chat? Can we admit that whatsapp works like a new body or a prosthesis giving access to a new complex of representations and affects? Can we talk about communication on psychoanalytical terms between unconscious when people are receiving and sending videos? 2) As Lacan proposed (Seminar XI) that the voice is one of the drive's object, can we hypothesize that whatsapp comes with the possibility of enhancing people's relationship with the power of there own voices? 3) Can we establish an erotical pattern of language when two or more people start penetrating each others body through the compulsive uses of words, phrases, figures, voices, images, videos, etc? 4) If so, how to understand the boundaries between personal life and job's subjects? 4) How can someone feel secure and protected when others can easily invade their gadgets with messages and signs of different sources and forms? 5) Can an organization better control their partners through the ideological incentive of the use of the Whatsapp? 6) If the use of whatsapp can be compulsive and invasive how can we discuss the limits of the use of this app? Is the digital use of communication between professional partners a form of making people more attached to one another or this is another way of avoiding human direct contacts? Organizations tend to act imposing moral patterns of behaviors and beliefs that will act as Ideology and will than manage to build mental conscience of desire and acts between workers. This will be told to be 'ethical' but we know that Ethics for the Psychoanalytical point of view considers 'Ones relationship with its desire'. Lacan said: 'ethic is not to give up with one's desire'. Considering differences between Ethics and Moral, ideology, conscience building, erotic drives and Desire, privacy, our paper tries to answer the questions above presented focusing on this new object called 'Whatsapp' and it's psychic effects on people who use the app while working with colleagues at organizations.'