Social media’s exploding popularity has made it an integral part of our culture which is now reflected in films. Here are the top ten films that highlight Hollywood’s treatment of social media. Happy movie viewing!
- The Social Network
The Social Network is arguably the most modern film of our generation. Starring Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, the 2010 film may not exactly be a 100 percent accurate depiction of Facebook’s founding, but it does perfectly use Zuckerberg’s life as a metaphor about communication and alienation in the modern age.
- We Live in Public
We Live In Public profiles Internet pioneer Josh Harris, a former dot-com millionaire who lost everything during Web 2.0. Following his success in Silicon Valley, Harris turned his attention to controversial human experiments, such as tests which showed the effects of media and technology on individuals, which resulted in him losing his fortune. An extremely fascinating documentary that deserves a viewing.
Catfish begins in late 2007 as filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost felt a story in-progress while filming the life of Ariel’s brother, Nev. The filmmakers didn’t know that their project would lead to some of the most unsettling months of their lives. This reality thriller has all the qualities of a great film, like love and betrayal. The 2010 film has since inspired a series on MTV.
- Terms and Conditions May Apply
Terms and Conditions May Apply is a documentary that examines the real cost of ‘free’ services and vanishing online privacy. What do people really think they give up after clicking on ‘I Agree’ for companies like Facebook and Google? The answer may shock you.
- #chicagoGirl: The Social Network Takes on A Dictator
A fascinating journey of a teenage girl, who from her childhood bedroom in a Chicago suburb, uses social media to assist in the revolution in Syria. Armed with just Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and camera phones, she helps her social network in Damascus and Homs survive snipers and shelling. As the revolution against Syria’s dictator continues, the network has a decision to make: What’s a more effective way to fight – social media or AK-47s?
Startup.com is a gripping 2001 documentary that chronicles the dot-com start-up phenomenon, as well as, its downfall. The film tracks the e-commerce website govWorks (which was a service that allowed people to pay city fees through their Internet portal) and its founders Kaleil Isaza Tuzman and Tom Herman from 1999-2000 as the Internet bubble was bursting. Definitely worth viewing for anyone wanting to launch their own startup.
- The Pirates of Silicon Valley
This was a 1999 made-for-TV movie starring Noah Wyle and Anthony Michael Hall as young tech entrepreneurs Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. The Pirates of Silicon Valley isn’t necessarily a “classic,” but its honesty and brutal portrayal of how Jobs and Gates rose to dominance is worth viewing. How’s that related to social media? Well, just ask yourself this: Where are we now if not for Steve Jobs and Bill Gates? Probably not updating your Facebook status on your iPhone.
Tron is an absolute classic that showed and inspired audiences in 1982 to the potential of technology. In case you haven’t seen it, Tron focuses on Jeff Bridges, who winds up living in a virtual world that he created.
Inside is a 2011 social film thriller brought by Intel in partnership with Toshiba. It was directed and written by D. J. Caruso and starred Emmy Rossum as Christina. The film was broken into several segments across multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Viewers were then challenged to help Christina successfully survive her predicament. The first part of the series premiered on July 25, 2011 for anyone participating in the “real-time experience”. The whole film became available for online viewing on September 6, 2011.
- Me and You and Everyone We Know
This 2005 romantic-comedy follows a group of intertwined characters, like a lonely shoe salesman and an eccentric performance artist, as they attempt to connect with others in this refreshing take on contemporary life. The title alone should intrigue you.
Social Media is a marketer’s essential tool to promote movies (see our post eMarketing for Independent Film Making). And, as you can see, Hollywood has taken this viral media and incorporated it into realistic plots and documentaries that reflect society’s obsession with it. Movies explore everything from Facebook, Twitter, email, online chat rooms, blogging and virtual reality. Top ten movies with internet themes compiled by searchenginejournal.com.
About the author
Cindy loves digital technology and as an college intern, focuses on creating digital advertising strategies and managing Google AdWords campaigns for profit and non-profit businesses. She develops content for the Search Engine Optimist blog and manages posts on social media channels. She will complete her B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington in June and looks forward to retiring her text books.