Social media is taking up more and more space these days. We are often unaware of the consequences of this. We present several films that will make you question your use of social media but not question TonyBet Company.
Every day, many people spend a considerable amount of time on social media. Almost everyone has several social media accounts. When scrolling through the newsfeed, we quickly forget the power that large digital corporations gain by analyzing our data. But personalized advertising and manipulation are not the only dangers of the digital age: Our interaction with social media also has a very direct impact on our mental health. For example, the high potential for addiction and constant comparison with others are major stressors.
The following six films take a similarly critical look at social media – whether as a fictional cyber thriller or an alarming documentary. That’s why we think: You should have seen these films in order to use social media consciously.
OUR LIST FOR YOU
- Black Mirror (2011-2019)
Black Mirror is a British science fiction series directed by Charlie Brooker. While this is not a movie, the episodes are each self-contained and are more like short stories than a series. The episodes take place in different settings with different characters and focus on the dark side of new technologies. The title “Black Mirror” stands for the shiny screens of technical devices.
The series creates dark, sometimes black-humored future scenarios that result from the use of modern technologies. Although some visions seem contrived and not all episodes are equally strong, it’s fun to dive into the different realities and continue spinning the dystopian episodes along with the series. The episodes are broadly thematic, but all show in an exaggerated way what we are heading for in case of doubt and hold a mirror up to the viewers.
- The Social Dilemma (2020)
“The Social Dilemma” is a U.S. documentary film that examines the impact of social media on our lives. It examines topics such as data mining, the effects on mental health – especially among children and young people – and the associated potential for addiction, which is often deliberately exploited by providers.
The documentary is divided into two narrative strands: On the one hand, it follows the fictional story of a boy who becomes increasingly dependent on smartphones and social communication technologies. On the other hand, scientists, former employees and leading employees of large corporations such as Google, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are inserted, who share insider knowledge and provide exciting insights into the mechanisms and workings of these companies. In this way, the film captivates the viewer:inside with its emotional storytelling.
Despite the overall positive reception, the documentary also met with some criticism. In the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Simon Hurtz criticized the film for resembling more of a dystopia than a dilemma, since no solutions were presented and the only way out at the end was to leave the system. He also criticized the film for presenting social media in a one-sided and insufficiently differentiated way.
Although the film may present some aspects in a somewhat abbreviated way, it succeeds in the essentials: To wake people up and make them think, by providing a basic understanding of the algorithms and dangers of social media.
- The Circle (2017)
Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Dave Eggers, this science fiction thriller is set in a dystopian future where humanity is completely monitored. Facebook, Google and Apple merge to form a gigantic conglomerate called “The Circle”, which collects data on a grand scale. In the film, the company has all the private data of its users at its disposal and can manipulate and control it for its own purposes – even at the level of interpersonal relationships.
With Emma Watson and Tom Hanks in the leading roles, the U.S. production has a top-class cast, but the film still provokes mixed reactions internationally. While the topic is important and the idea is good, the film is sometimes accused of being too artificial, unrealistic and not very dynamic. For example, the portrayal of the jaded society is criticized, which is all too happy and credulous to be lulled by the charismatic Tom Hanks. This may have little to do with reality, but the film still offers plenty of food for thought and raises some of the big questions of our time – especially the issue of data protection.
- nerve (2016)
“Nerve” is a US thriller based on a novel by Jeanne Ryan. This film also reflects the spirit of our time and draws attention to current problems such as anonymity on the Internet, online bullying or online gaming and the addictive potential it offers.
The film is set at an American high school where a new gaming trend is emerging: The game “Nerve.” Teenagers challenge each other to tests of courage, which are shared via social media channels. Everyone decides for themselves whether they want to be a spectator or a player. The more spectators, the more money the players earn. Vee, a shy girl from New York, gets carried away and joins the game. What is initially just fun takes on more and more extreme forms due to the pressure of social media. Not only are friendships destroyed by the tests of courage, but the game eventually takes on life-threatening proportions.
The film shows the enormous pressure that many young people are exposed to through social media and blurs the boundaries between the digital and real worlds. Even though the plot is purely fictional, the film is thought-provoking.