"Social Media: Is it Really Necessary?"

Riley Bruen
February 9, 2014

The Anti-Social Network is a short film about a social media addict named Lucas who is so consumed with Facebook the rest of his life takes the back seat. The film starts out with Lucas waking up and the first thing he does is grab his phone, signs on to Facebook, and makes a status saying: good morning. The film then shows his commute to work and while he is commuting the filmmakers have included animated "likes" and "friend request" signs above people that Lucas interacts with on his way to work. At work, the first thing he does is log on to Facebook. His boss then comes over to him and asks him why he has not completed a task he asked him to do a while ago. Lucas has flashbacks to what he was really doing instead of completing the task, which was spending a lot of time on Facebook. As the film progresses, the audience gets the impression that Lucas's only priority is Facebook.

Lucas then reaches the weekend and goes out to bar with a friend. He sees a girl across the bar and goes to talk to her. The girl's name is Leila and she seems to be interested in him as well. The audience knows Lucas is interested in her because the filmmakers have added another animated "like" above her head. As they continue to talk he asks her about Facebook and she tells him she does not have one because she doesn't see the point. Essentially, Leila is the anti-social network. He gets her number and next night they're out on a dinner date.

During the whole dinner Lucas does not put away his smart phone and is constantly taking pictures and posting to Facebook. Leila eventually gets upset and turns off his phone. She takes him to a beautiful spot, overlooking a lake. They seem to be hitting it off very well but then Lucas ruins it by taking out his phone and claiming he has to get a picture of this because it will be "like" central. Leila then leaves him there.

The next day, Lucas gets up and the first thing he does is go to sign onto Facebook but he finds Facebook is not working. He turns on the news and is informed Facebook has shut down. The next scene is him running out of his house wearing nothing but underwear. He runs down streets and finally makes it to Leila's house where he apologizes for the way he acted with Facebook. To prove he's over social networking he smashes his phone on the ground. In the end, Leila and Lucas end up together. For comic relief, as the movie is fading out, the audience hears Lucas ask Leila if she has a Twitter.

Facebook and other social networking sites have become such a prominent component in most peoples everyday lives. People are starting to think of life through how it looks on Facebook. I believe the author's of the Anti-Social Network used camera angles and animation to depict their opinions on social networking and how it impacts our everyday lives.

The camera angle utilized from 12:50-12:54 shows an upside down shot of Lucas sleeping in his bed next to Leila. The filmmakers have chosen to have the picture shown fuzzy, suggesting to the audience that Lucas is dreaming. Within the same shot, the fuzzy filter is lifted and Leila is replaced by an iPhone with its alarm going off to wake up Lucas. This camera work was selected by the filmmakers to depict what Lucas chose versus what he could have. Lucas decided to choose social networking over Leila so, instead of being able to wake up next to her, he is waking up next to his iPhone.

The animated signs and messages the filmmakers added into the film contributed to the idea that Facebook has become such a ample component in our everyday lives. The "Likes" that appear over the heads of people who Lucas likes in real life, shows how he thinks in Facebook terms and how consumed and addicted he is to Facebook. During a scene in the bar, messages start to appear on the side of the screen. Everything the messages say is exactly what Lucas is currently doing. It makes the audience think about why Lucas seems to think it's necessary to document his entire life for everyone on Facebook to read about. The messages and animated signs contribute to the theme of social networking has become a far bigger part of out lives than is necessary.

I believe the filmmakers are trying to make a point; social networking should not be the most important part of our lives. Lucas almost lost what could have been a wonderful relationship with girl he really liked because of his addiction to Facebook. The film does a great job of compelling the audience to think about how much time they really spend on social media and if that time is really necessary.

The Anti-Social Network can be used as a prompt to discuss social media.