It's like a sickness... Spreading through the entire country. There are reports incoming of random people attacking each other. They're becoming like zombies. Actual zombies. An empty battery can cause injury. Disconnected internet can lead to people dying. This needs to be stopped, before it's too late.
After a long day of university, Jim drives back home on the roads of countryside The Netherlands. Here he occurs to his sister, who had probably gotten home earlier that afternoon already. Unsurprisingly, she sits on the couch in the living room, scrolling on her iPhone. After their mother passed away, she can’t be separated from her phone anymore. It seems to distract her from the misery of the world around her. Reality is tough. It hurts. Jim approaches her with a box of fresh sugared donuts he picked up on his way home. When she’s unresponsive and keeps staring at her phone, he playfully grabs her phone out of her hands. Her empty gaze swiftly turns into fury…
‘’Connection Down’’ is a short sci-fi thriller project initiated and given form by Kilian Harkema (Clanstate Pictures) and local and international talent from northern The Netherlands.''
Step into a random train and take a look around you. I can already predict what you’ll be seeing: two rows of people, with their bags put on the seats next to them, looking at the devices in their hands. Not surprising, of course, since train rides are often long and boring. People stare at their phones and don’t pay attention to the fellow travellers around them. However, it becomes problematic when people are out for a drink with friends or family, and all they do is stare at their phones. It becomes even more problematic when your child doesn’t know how to amuse itself anymore without digital distraction. It seems as if the smartphone has become integral to our modern lives and we cannot be separated from it.
Why do people do it? Why do people rather engage into their (social) apps, rather than engage in interesting conversations, the outside world… or even a book? Is real life that confronting? I, Kilian, often observe this behaviour with myself as well. And I see it as a dangerous phenomenon.
It’s only since recently that the negative effects of this social media/smartphone addiction have been researched. Using social media & receiving likes stimulates our brain’s production of the dopamine: a similar effect can be measured when drinking alcohol or taking drugs. You probably recognize the sense of panic when you can’t find your phone… Of course, the factual effect of receiving a ‘like’ on Facebook cannot be compared to the consumption of cocaine. However, because of the constant flow of dopamine we need from our smartphones in order satisfy ourselves, and feel uneasy when we don’t receive it, we need to take this addiction seriously.
Not only can the overuse of social media lead to social anxiety or depression, it also influences our day-to-day choices and behaviour. Our daily social media routine results in that we are constantly measured, tapped and influenced by data-collecting organisations. It influences our buying behaviour, self-image, social and moral values, and even our political viewpoints. Your constant exposure to social media does not only affect yourself, your personal environment and family and friends, but it even takes control of what you do and what you think. We are more exposed to different opinions, but we listen less. We can instantly obtain information, but we learn less. You say we are more ‘connected’? I’d say, less!
An idea that originally arose during a mountain walk in Scotland got developed into a script for a short-film of 7-10 minutes telling the story of Jim and his sister Anna in the form of a sci-fi/thriller. Together with local and international talent living in the Northern part of The Netherlands, the goal is to make a successful first move in the international film industry.
The aim is to finalize the film before halfway January 2019. When successfully produced, the film has the purpose to compete in (amongst others) the Noorderkroon competition of the Noordelijk Film Festival 2019, as well as the Go Short Film Festival Nijmegen and the Brussels Short Film Festival.
This film needs to be made in order to make people realize the consequences of their smartphone/social media addiction. I hope to stir up a discussion and awareness on our own unhealthy digital behaviour.
However, making a film costs money. Even though the hours I and the crew will put into the film are unpaid, the other costs are unfortunately not covered yet. Your donation will help ensure that the set, equipment, travel and food costs are covered. However, it will also enable the film to compete in national and international short-film festivals!
Your help is needed to spread the message and make people around you aware of the consequences of their digital addiction. Of course, several perks are offered in exchange for your support. Let’s make this short film a success together and make a donation!
In case of overfunding, the remaining finances will be invested in the next project of Clanstate Pictures (on the topic of freedom of speech!). You are ensured your contribution will find the purpose it is intended for.