Few actions define our character as well as our ability to connect with others. In this day and age, when the internet has integrated into our lives, often we find ourselves seeking solace in the murky depths of social media rather than the expected face-to-face interaction. “Noah,” which debuted at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, brings to light the issues underlying digital culture through its bittersweet tale shot directly on a computer screen.
Starring a young couple, Amy and Noah, this 17-minute short focuses initially on their relationship and how a potential misunderstanding in the virtual world can speak volumes in real life.
There is no doubt that “Noah” hits close to home, often in a way that makes it somewhat uncomfortable to watch; it’s an honest commentary that often reminds us of how members of our generation, the Millennials, interact. Individually we consider it normal, yet when processed outside of our minds, it invokes an obvious cringiness and somewhat creepy nature. The all-too-familiar keyboard and mouse click sounds are present, and the resulting actions on screen invoke a poignant and all-too-real slice of life, sparsely served with facepalming chuckles from time to time.
“Noah” isn’t a commentary chiding those with a presence on social media nor is it an advocate for a lifestyle free from needing to maintain a balance between the real and virtual worlds. Instead, it fiddles with the idea that social media can be both beneficial and detrimental. Like the teenager it portrays, the short is indecisive and unsure about the lessons it wants to get across.
Perhaps Noah is an attempt to address the issue of feeling isolated in a world supposedly more connected than ever before. Maybe it is a notable acknowledgement of how we approach our presence both offline and online as well as the seamless link between the two. Regardless, watching Noah may give you that incentive to stop multitasking, sign off Facebook and re-evaluate what it means to be socially connected.