A Social Life (2016)
A Social Life | Dir : Kerith Lemon | Short | 8 min
Hearing the words ‘Social life’ might have elicited something else if it were a couple of decades ago. But, now, in this era of social networking, it will certainly ring a different bell, altogether. Two decades back if someone had told us that an arriving technology is going to separate human beings who knew each other, yet bind strangers together, we might have undoubtedly giggled. Even we might’ve suspended the very idea as silly. But now, after the mobile revolution and the social networking revolution, we might not.
Yes, these two technologies together have made what we once thought as absurd or bizarre, as existing reality. The smiles in our lips are now replaced by the frowns in our temple. The social media has taken our beloved ones far apart, but keep introducing us to complete strangers in the virtual world. Over years, to many of us our real lives seem less important while digital life is replacing its place. On the personal level, it has even modified our styles of living, from scratch.
Years have already passed ever since psychologists have declared that over dependence on social networking sites, a depressing psychic disorder. Sites like Facebook and Twitter and android applications like WhatsApp which proclaim to bring people closer, better and ease our way of communication, have begun to virtually rule most of us. And such a statement is certainly not over stated. Of course these sites have enabled our generation to archive the memories of our lives, than anyone in the rest of human history. But this urge to share the moments has began to over grow within ourselves and in many of our personal lives it has taken the primary place. Many of the social networking addicts live their day-to-day lives just to ‘post’ it online. Still more pathetic, most of them are not aware of their condition.
There are some works, both in literature as well as in any forms of art, which necessitates a formal introduction. To such works introduction mean as simple as just pointing it out. They do the rest with the reader/viewer. One such work is Keirth Lemon’s short ‘A Social Life’ (8 min). Literally without a formal story Lemon shows us a slice of every-day life of a ‘netizen’ consumed by social media.
We meet Meredith, seemingly a career focused woman in her twenties, who believes it’s inevitable to have a strong digital presence, which she firmly believes would give her the contacts essential for her. Over time we see her over consumed by her urge to archive her life digitally and we see her live with her phone as it’s her soul mate. Well, Meredith is not just a single person, but a personified representation of millions and millions of individuals who share the same state of living like her.
The protagonist posts her life in a series of pictures, while the director has chosen to show it frame after frame without dialogues (apart from a brief phone conversation). This seems to have provided an artistic connection between what’s being told and how’s it’s shown to the viewer. In the climax, Meredith stands in front of the mirror perceives her life has reduced just to a series of photographs, as if like a vision. She drops her phone and opens the doors and steps out to the real world. Perhaps she moves out after a long time without the preoccupation of documenting her life, to post it in the social media later. In the final frame we see her passing through her door flooded with light.
May the light shine!