by Brittany McSorley
You’d think the whole “art imitates life” thing could only go so far, but social media is now almost as prominent in our fiction as it is in our reality. Working in social media marketing on Cape Cod means spending a lot of quality time on everyone’s favorite platforms, but even at the end of a long day when it’s time to indulge in some escapism, Facebook and company are still there, playing an increasingly important role in film and television.
Might as well go with the flow, right? Here are a few of the most fascinating movies and TV shows about our online lives.
In this 2018 thriller, a 16-year-old girl disappears, and her father must use her social media history to track her down. As he uncovers more about his daughter’s life online, he realizes how much he doesn’t know about her.
Based on Dave Egger’s novel of the same name, this 2017 film focuses on a social media company that has triumphed over all its competitors. The last platform standing’s overwhelming surveillance and societal control leads to some issues. Who’d have thought?
This unsettling Netflix series has two seasons with a third on the way. The first season follows Joe, a bookstore manager who uses social media to fuel his intense obsession with a young woman. It’s a not-so-fun reminder of how much personal information you’ve likely put on the internet.
Comedian Bo Burnham’s sweet 2018 hit follows a girl named Kayla during her final week of middle school, showcasing the stark differences between her real life and the image she presents online.
Ingrid Goes West
This indie flick takes on the concept of social media influencers with a creepy twist. An unstable woman becomes obsessed with an Instagram star and moves across the country to find and befriend her.
This dark anthology series originally came to prominence in the UK, later taking off as a Netflix hit. It examines the complicated relationship between human nature and technology, but one episode is famous for its take on social media. In “Nosedive,” the first episode of the third season, an Uber-like rating system is applied to individuals, and one woman is desperate to increase her score.
What began as a 2007 documentary was eventually turned into an MTV series. The doc followed filmmaker Nev Schulman on a journey to find out the truth about a woman he met over Facebook. As it turned out, there were plenty more stories out there about people taking liberties with their identity online — the TV show ran for eight seasons.
The Social Network
This 2010 film, written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher, provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the origin story of Facebook, and the legal drama that followed when Mark Zuckerberg was sued by cofounder Eduardo Saverin.
Hopefully, this list will come in handy next time you need a break from your phone, but not too much of a break.