A Social Life

| March 16, 2016

If folks can pull themselves away from social media on a Sunday afternoon, then they should take out a little time to go to the Center for Remembering and Sharing, 123 4th Ave., in New York City to see a short film called “A Social Life.” This is a “short film about a career driven woman who’s living the life she always dreamed of…online.”

Meredith is a career focused young woman who understands the importance of keeping up an active social media profile. She strives to live a balanced life: staying fit, working hard and connecting with friends. Sharing these moments online is an important part of her day-to-day; she is creating her “image” within her broader social media friend base.

Meredith awakes one day and realizes that her reflection is merely the collection of photos that she has shared with others. Is this her life? Or just a carefully curated brand?

The film is directed and written by Kerith Lemon and will screen at 12:00 Noon on March 20.

Lemon says that she wanted to share a story about how social media is impacting our lives. She explained: “The character Meredith is someone that is close to my heart. She works and plays hard. Like many of us, she feels the pressure to keep up her personal ‘brand.’ More than 70 percent of the United States uses social media, but it’s women that lead the way. We love personal stories and we love the connectivity, but at the same time I feel that we continue to be judged by what we share in a way that men are not judged. I would go so far as to argue that we think far more about what we’re putting out there and how it will be perceived. I wanted to take a closer look at this; to explore our new social media culture, how we frame our social lives, and how we allow the perceptions – and approval – of others to define us.”

After producing for more than 13 years I wanted to take a project from start to finish under my complete direction. I’ve long been a proponent of if you can see it, you can be it and was inspired by my interactions at Sundance with other female directors. It was there that I realized that I could direct a story in my own voice.

She continued: “‘A Social Life’ isn’t meant to be a cautionary tale to tell people how to live their lives. It is a mirror of what I know that I look like and what is happening to me emotionally by being connected 24/7. I was curious if we’re really living the life that we post and wanted to open a dialogue about what this is doing to our self-image. I hope that viewers will watch this film with an open mind and be inspired to live now and post later.”

Well, I pulled myself away to screen the short, and it’s intriguing. The young lady is mesmerized and led by what I presume is her Facebook page. She isn’t shown outside of the home; just posting one thing after another. Every movement when she is at home is strategically played out. For example, she’s cutting veggies in the kitchen, and this is fodder for a posting on her page. She is so consumed with this, even gently telling her mom that she can’t speak with her, because she’s busy. But she’s only busy posting another update about what appears to be such a mundane life.

The end scenes will have you thinking, “well, did the light bulb go off?”

“A Social Life” is a good snapshot (not snapchat) into the world of the Internet and social media. For more information, visit the following social media sites:

Twitter: @asociallifefilm

Instagram: @asociallifefilm

Facbook: facebook.com/asociallifefilm

About the Author:

Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago. She is the author of "Old School Adventures from Englewood--South Side of Chicago" and the proud parent of "the smart rapper"--chemist-turned-rapper, turned humanitarian...Psalm One!
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