Disney’s WALL-E: A dystopian reality of the disadvantages of digital media

In a lot of ways living in a digital age is wonderful. We’re able to connect and stay connected with one another in ways never before possible. Thanks in part, to the birth of social media and strengthened by the technological advances of smartphones and tablets. Suddenly a “goodbye” is transformed into a “see ya later”, allowing a 10-year-old who’s parents uproot him from his home in Kentucky to move to California, the ability to to stay connected with his friends.

But with every advantage comes a disadvantage. This digital era has giving us the ability to connect despite distance but it also can rob us of our interpersonal relationships. Like Genie from Disney’s Aladdin famously said of his profession, “phenomenal cosmic power, iddy biddy living space”.

Another great Disney movie, 2008’s Wall-E, depicts the cost of being overly connected in a digital age. The dystopian film is a cautionary tale of what happens when we replace our humanity with an avatar. The humans in the film are so attached to their devices that they miss out on the physical connections with the people around them.

Social media plays a vital role in helping us stay connected. And with all technology, we should remember that it’s there to enhance our lives not hinder it. Online should never replace offline. So if you found yourself spending more time as your avatar than your physical self… it’s probably time to log off.

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