“Connected: An Autoblogography About Love, Death & Technology” presents an interesting view on technology, the brain and the way we connect with those around us.
The International Film Series presented two screenings of “Connected” on Saturday and Sunday nights. The film focuses on technology and the way we interact as a result of the increasing technology.
The film integrates both director Tiffany Shlain’s personal experiences and her research and findings. Her struggle with her father’s brain cancer and eventual death resonates with viewers as she presents a firsthand view of a familiar and inevitable experience. Shlain also is coping with a high risk pregnancy throughout the film, and her fears and worries about her baby – after several miscarriages – are understandable and adds to the anxiety she feels about her father’s decline in health.
Her father’s struggle with brain cancer is vital to the film as he begins to use his right brain more and more in a left brain dominated world. The differences in the hemispheres of the brain are a focal point of the “autoblogography” as they relate to the way that we as a society connect and interact. Right brain thinking is more visual and abstract while left brain thinking is more logical and power focused. After establishing that the world is left brain dominated, the film looks at the advantages of right brain thinking and the ideal results of using both hemispheres at once.
Shlain and her father determine that using both hemispheres of the brain produces ideal results. Her father uses Leonardo da Vinci as an example, and Shlain claims that the internet synthesizes the left and right hemisphere of the brain and changes the way people think. The technology we use in our everyday lives has the potential to hurt us as we break everything down into distinct categories, but it also has the ability to push us forward individually and globally. More technology has created a culture of connecting widely at the cost of connecting deeply. If we use the internet to do both rather than just one, we can “beat the odds” of evolution and succeed.
Shlain integrates history and science in a relatable way that’s easy for viewers to understand. The more analytical and complicated data that supports her theory are presented in a much less confusing way, and viewers understand – at least to some extent – the logic and process behind the science.
The film presents interesting realizations about life and the way we connect with others. Sharing and connecting with others releases the same chemical in our brains that pleasurable actions like sex and music do, which explains our addiction to technology and the instant gratification from a Facebook notification. On an opposite note, multitasking has the same effect on IQ as being stoned. Similarly, Shlain talks about our idealized view that more progress is better, and she points out that growth for growth’s sake is cancer. These little statements come together to form a bigger picture of connection and technology and the impact both have on our society.
“Connected” draws from many fields – history, science, literature – to present a new theory about the way that our brains work. The internet allows the hemispheres of our brains to work in unison, rewiring the way we think and creating more potential for the future.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Ainslee Mac Naughton at Ainslee.firstname.lastname@example.org.