There are consequences to over indulgence. No matter what it is.
There’s real physical consequences such as:
- Eat too much – you become obese.
- Drink too much – you become an alcoholic.
Over indulgence leads to addiction. Our modern age has invented a whole new range of addictions: pornography and video games to name two.
But what happens when you over indulge in technology?
Two recent films explore what happens when we’re too connected to technology and not connected enough to real life.
Central to the multiple, but interconnected stories in “Disconnect” (2012) is cyber bullying and the effects of it on a sensitive high school student victimized by it. But the most powerful part of the film isn’t the obvious ways in which the characters are using technology to shield themselves from reality, but the small ways.
- The lawyer constantly checking his email and taking calls during “family” dinner (while chastising his son for doing the same thing)
- The businessman playing online poker while on a business trip (in a hotel bed, eating room service pizza)
- The stay-at-home mom connecting more with the people in a support chat room than with her husband
“Disconnect” is a powerful film and makes you wonder if those quick checks of your iPhone while at home aren’t, well, a bit obscene. Director Henry Alex Rubin captures the soullessness of people more focused on technology and devices than the people in their lives.
You can’t watch it and not find yourself among the array of too-connected characters. And good luck not crying at some point.
The second film is a 17-minute short that was shown at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival. “Noah” is as unnerving a movie you’ll ever see. The entire film takes place on a computer screen as the love-life of a teenage boy falls apart. He’s surrounded by a myriad of distractions – pornography, music, social media – as he tries to stay focused on what is happening with his girlfriend.
Noah is distracted. His eyes moving to porn to Facebook updates to Skype to texting. He’s clicking. He’s watching. He’s jumping. He can’t stay focused. He doesn’t know how to. As a result, he get paranoid and weird. He feels alone – yet not alone.
If you ever worried about your own attention span then “Noah” will make you consider unplugging – forever. That’s likely the point directors Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg were trying to make. They want us to think about technology and what it is doing to us.
We’re probably going to see more films and artwork exploring what it means to be connected in the digital way. If you want to get a head start then “Disconnect” and “Noah” will have you thinking twice about turning on your smart phone.
“Disconnect” on IMBD
“Noah” the short film