What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dsknectd is a documentary about how technology can be both immensely useful and also detrimental, if unchecked. The film explores the many ways that social media and multiplayer online games have changed how people interact and features interviews with psychologists, neurologists, and other experts. There are in-depth conversations about sexting, teen sexuality, and technology addiction, as well as a disturbing reenactment of an incident involving a South Korean couple who neglected their newborn daughter in favor of video games to the point that the baby died. The documentary will provide opportunities for parents and kids to talk about serious topics related to media use and even addiction.
What's the story?
DSKNECTD is a documentary that explores the many ways in which the onslaught of social media, smartphones, and multi-user video games has affected people -- particularly adolescents. The filmmakers intersperse interviews with psychologists, neurologists, and other academics with more casual "man on the street" surveys and even a 24-hour experiment centering on a young woman who agrees not to use technology for an entire day. The documentary also includes a dramatization of an incident involving a South Korean couple who were so addicted to Internet gaming that they neglected their three-month-old daughter, who died of malnutrition. Ultimately Dsknectd will make viewers think about how social media can, rather than bring people together, dilute the power of face-to-face relationships.
Is it any good?
Filmmaker Dominic H. White has taken on a little too much with Dsknectd. It's well intentioned, but this treatise on the way that social media and mobile technology have affected people's relationships, their abilities to empathize, and their face-to-face interactions flits between heavy-handed narrated segments, interviews with experts and gaming addicts alike, and less-satisfying surveys of people hanging out in Venice Beach. The part about the South Korean couple is jarring and features an actress approximating a terrible "broken English," vaguely Asian accent that's borderline offensive. A strict retelling of the events would have been more appropriate and impactful. Instead, the fake interview is so phony that it detracts from the movie's more serious and thought-provoking aspects.
Still, despite the misguided fake interview, Dsknectd is a good discussion -tarter for parents and teens. It's a bit too long, but even if parents and kids just watch the first half, they can still have a meaningful conversation about social media, boundaries, and knowing when media and Internet use has turned into something addictive and inappropriate.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Dsknectd's messages about technology. Do you agree with the experts' findings and beliefs about the way that social media, texting, and games are affecting interpersonal friendships?
Is it OK that a documentary includes a dramatization and conducts its own experiments and surveys? How does that impact your opinion of the movie and its messages?