By Dirk Sonniksen | June 2, 2014
Director: Dominic H. White
Writer: Dominic H. White
It’s 1992. I’m living in Seattle with an Apple computer proudly displayed on the dining room table. Even then, it was my primary focus—my precious. I thought about the computer during the drive to work, at work, during the drive home from work, and finally—there it was, waiting for me. Upon entering my apartment, everything became secondary to my Mac. I could venture onto the Internet, a universe that was but a fraction of what it is today. I could read the news without buying a newspaper! Neat! I could load in SimCity via a floppy and spend hours constructing a virtual metropolis that would inevitably be destroyed, but no matter—I could just start over.
Through the years, my fascination with technology would begin to wane to the point where life had almost returned to normal. All I needed was my push-button phone with huge, brightly-lit numbers (it replaced my trusty rotary), a stack of vinyl, and the good times were back. But just as I was resettling into my non-technology mode of life, the iPod emerged, and suddenly my music library took on new meaning. Then the iPhone was invented and suddenly I was texting and talking to all those people I really didn’t want to text or talk to in the first place. But it’s a miracle, right? This technology.
Or has technology become the biggest distraction of all? DSKNECTD is a film that attempts to break down technology’s effects on society, the good and the bad. What I took away from the film is that there is not a lot of good (as I write on my laptop that is amazing! I can even compose music on this damn thing!). What DSKNECTD shows us is that our consciousness is being chipped away by an onslaught of social media, text messages, and intense online gaming. Those higher cognitive powers we were so big on attaining in the old days no longer seem important—we are dumbing down. We are tuning in, and tuning in, and tuning in—and as a result—tuning out.
According to DSKNECTD, one of the greatest threats posed by our reliance on technology is that we now have little face-to-face interaction with each other. No matter how tight knit a family we may have or how close our bonds of friendship, we communicate via technology, and as a result, we are actually losing our connection to each other. This ability to communicate may seem advantageous for those separated by continents, but even then the context of our electronic messages can easily be misinterpreted. These mistakes can be entertaining at times, but the consequences can also prove problematic, resulting in lost friendships, a lovers’ spat, and even divorce, with DSKNECTD touching on divorces initiated via text.
DSKNECTD is full of interesting theories regarding our relationship with technology, but it is heavy on said theories and can be reminiscent of a high school education film (right down to the narrator). DSKNECTD is likely to anger some folks as so many think so highly of their laptops, smartphones, and other gadgets, and that annoyance would be unfortunate. DSKNECTD is less a film slamming technology and more a cautionary documentary that urges individuals to simply consider the extent of their use of technology. It’s apparent from street interviewees in the film that many would suffer delirium tremens if their phones were suddenly taken away, but maybe a bit of moderation could be a good thing. Perhaps individuals might once again appreciate the beauty of trees in spring, the bluest sky, or the marvel of a full moon…without it being a screensaver.