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No Internet Week

Here's what happens when five digital natives whose lives revolve around the internet are cut off from any connection for a week.

10 – 15 | 2013 | Documentary | Hide in News | Live-Action | Technology | UK

Internet permeates every aspect of our lives, from work to all kinds of social interactions, everything goes through a wi-fi connection. About 170 billion emails are sent every day. Social media and instant messaging have become our main channels of communication, and a frantic need to obtain every kind of information here and now has made us almost schizophrenic in our constant search of the most frivolous facts.

There are increasing debates about a proper internet addiction, and an actual discussion in the international psychiatric community about the formalization of this new disorder. As part of this growing interest in our relationship with the net, English agency Mother London decided to investigate the phenomenon by conducting an experiment, cutting off every internet connection from five digital natives for a week. The “study subjects” of this sociological research are all individuals whose lives revolve around the internet: a teenager, a fashion blogger, an online journalist, a communication strategist and an editor who, among other things, founded Jack magazine.

A psychiatrist monitors and comments on their reactions daily,  leading up to a final discussion in which they will analyze the effects that this sudden separation had on them.

The individual reactions of the protagonists are interesting, the editor turns to various activities of carpentry (“logging is the new blogging” is the mantra that he comes up with), one of the girls finds herself having to use an actual London map to move around the city​​, others begin to realize how everyone is constantly attached to their cell phones, upsetting interpersonal dynamics in social contexts. The teenager, the only one among them who never really experienced the pre-internet world, wrote her first letter to a friend. Proper withdrawals will occur from time to time, but in the end this experience will leave a positive sign.

The short film was shot with a television style, not unlike many news in-depth specials, and it works. The immediacy and intimacy coming from this approach increases our identification with the “subjects”, whose habits and obsessions are very close to our own.

Flavia Ferrucci

Flavia Ferrucci

Flavia Ferrucci

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