Facebook – Stupid or cupid? Thoughts on ‘Inbox’ for #edcmooc

Another film from #edcmooc (the course I am taking) – from week 1: Inbox

I’m running behind a little – we’re now on week 2 and I’m playing catch up. But this is an intriguing short film which depicts human, romantic relationships played out over ‘technology’ – in this case a pair of magically-linked bags bought at the same shop (incidentally, I’ve been getting into Warehouse 13 recently, and the bags feel like an Artifact….).

I won’t retell the story – watch it, it’s charming. What I found particularly interesting – thinking ‘is this dystopian or utopian?’ was that I couldn’t tell. For sure. The question we were asked was precisely that – how do  you interpret it?

On the one hand, it seemed sad that although the heroine closes Facebook with disgust (because of unwanted male attention?) she’s happy enough to conduct a conversation via the magic bag with a complete stranger. Either you’re into social media or not, surely? Or is it that underneath the film is an inherent criticism of FB, but not social media – difficult to decide.

On the other hand, the power of social media to bring two like-minds together – strangers or not – was clear too. His almost adolescent joy when she agrees to meet, followed by his dejection when the bag gets ripped (and stops working) was sweet. But again, underneath this is something quite nasty: if he had simply met the girl, talked to her, got to know her then the ‘failure’ of the ‘technology’ would not have been so disastrous. So, dystopian?

The final scene merely adds to my confusion: when they finally meet IRF, their first communications are via the ‘technology’ channel again.

So, what is this trying to say: FB/Social Media is bad because it gets in the way of productive relationships? Or good because it fosters relationships that can grow productively IRF?

I still don’t know; and I started this post last night and still haven’t decided.

IRF (In Real Life, by the way), I got to know my wife through FB (although we had met IRF first – we merely deepened our relationship through FB messaging). Maybe that’s why I am confused.

I feel that the message is dystopian, but I’m pleased that it happened to me.

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