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Social Media has slowly transitioned from a part of everyday life to a way of life. However, films that are made have been slow to reflect this. The author, David Crewe, tackles the why behind the what while depicting social media in modern day movies such as Unfriended. The tendency of conversations following films that incorporate social media in them well is higher which is talked about as well.
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As social media transitions from a trend to a way of life, so does the viewer’s abilities to relate to films. In Men, Women, and Children technology is used a great deal which helps the younger generation of viewers relate to the message more personally. As stated in the text, “Men, Women & Children certainly focuses on social media and its ramifications, but I’d argue that it’s primarily representing this phenomenon: new technology facilitating the same mistakes we’ve always made.” Social media does not change humanity’s natural tendency. We want to have friends, to be known and to be loved, we battle insecurities and do not mind taking someone down to rise. Social media bullying has made itself known in the filmmaking industry. It has helped to get the ball rolling on conversation and has helped the film industry to find a point of connection with the younger generation.
Social media as a lifestyle also allows room for bullying to become a more relevant topic of interest and source of stress to teens. There is also a sense of public privacy. Students share enough to stay relevant and have to learn the balance of hiding enough to remain protected. The power of trends and social media culture within a school society is powerful and films are starting to highlight how individualistic each kind of school. This element is helpful for filmmakers to grasp because social media shapes culture, but it does not stop humans from being humans. It is like new boundaries to operate within. Movies like Unfriended do a good job at getting that message across with the title and content. Students who watched that movie connected because these are real social experiences and by filming them and putting it on the big screen it allows other teens to also see their experience as being relatable and not as unique and isolating as it may usually appear to the individual being bullied or harassed online.
This article does a very good job at highlighting markers of human nature’s conditions. One of those conditions is that we learn by experimentation and that we tend to project our “best selves” as often as possible. Social media makes it all to easy to lie. When appearances and reality blur as much as they do when things go online, adolescences are affected. The article also comments on filmmakers that have tried to represent social media online, but taking it too far to the point that is not realistic nor relatable. He also touches on the legal dealings with copyrights and things like that when it comes to using brands that are popular and recognizable among the youth such as Facebook.
A great point made in the article is that “…engaging with social media doesn’t necessarily require seeing any actual social media on screen.” It then goes on to explain how movies like Boyhood and 52 Tuesdays approach to social media is to put the power back in the hands of the users of technology by having protagonists do things like deactivate their accounts. The concept of sexual identity is also challenged with social media because perception is reality. Users are seen now more than ever trying to establish their sexual identity before the basics.
Despite the fact that many academic institutions discourage the use of cellphones in class that it is still prevalent in education cultures. The article is written in life of Australian youth perspective which even affects the kinds of movies that make it out there. Being that we are on two sides of the world (the U.S. and Australia), there are some differences between our cultures. However, the online world has built for itself its own culture which is what makes so many of the things that Crewe’s article is about so relevant.
Understanding the world of social media can only help film-makers. It does not mean that films must include social media in every single scene. Viewers want a story, but they want a story that they can relate to as well. It is about finding that sweet spot. There are countless sub-themes within the world of social media. Breaking those themes down and understanding them is important so that they make sense when portrayed on screen.
The article spoke about Hunger Games and its incorporation of social media and how it shaped the lives of the society in the film. Crewe encourages educations systems to encourage use of social media film viewings and to follow them up with discussion in order to deal with the issues that adolescents find very real. The internet, despite it’s capacity to connect us can do the most damage in isolating people and making every person’s experience feel almost too unique for someone else to understand. Conversations help to break this stereotype. This article is well written and researched and makes some very good points.
David Crewe, the writer, is a secondary school teacher which colors his interest in social media and filmmaking in light of adolescents and academia. He has captured the idea of social media culture among youth very well in this article which should help both filmmakers and educators to understand their audience a little better.
Crewe, D. (n.d.). Screen Education. Retrieved from “Screen Education”. Spring2015, Issue 79, p78-87. 10p. 19 Color Photographs