By Laura Ainsworth
With Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg making high-blown pronouncements on his expanded mission of helping us all find purpose and meaning in our lives and his desire to “rewrite the social contract” between us and our government, this is a good time to check out a great satirical film called THE CIRCLE.
It came and went from theaters pretty fast earlier this year, with curiously little promotion --- especially since it starred Tom Hanks and Emma Watson --- but should not be missed. Stream it.
The story is told from the perspective of a young woman who takes a job with a corporation that could be Google or Facebook, run by a CEO (Tom Hanks) who aspires to link us all into a global community, connect us socially, destroy our privacy and any desire for such, ensure conformity, monitor our existence (for our own convenience, of course!), and generally shape society to his own ends. In other words, it’s a horror movie.
Social media does serve valuable functions –- it keeps us in touch with actual friends and helps us find lost loved ones, among other things --- but this movie should serve as a cautionary tale about where we’re being taken. It’s no exaggeration to say we’re heading into an Orwellian world in which cameras can be on us virtually 24/7 and our every keystroke and turn of the steering wheel adds to our personal permanent record. We’re expected to check our phones every 30 seconds or so. Of course, many of us are now so addicted that we live on them, anyway. We measure our popularity by the number of followers and “likes” we have. Is that how Mark Zuckerberg suggests we find meaning in our lives?
Anyway, see the movie. And remember it whenever some revolutionary, “progressive” but, hey, downright practical idea for bettering ourselves comes out of Silicon Valley.
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Laura Ainsworth is a fantastic retro jazz singer and comedy writer whose always-tasteful parody songs were heard on “The Mike Huckabee Show.” This summer, she’s releasing her third CD “New Vintage” and a best-of vinyl LP and making her NYC debut Aug. 24th at the Metropolitan Room. For tickets and more, visit https://www.facebook.com/lauraainsworthsings