Celling Your Soul

48 min. and 26 min. Bullfrog Films. 2017. $250. $95 (rental). ISBN 1941545858.
Gr 9 Up—A group of college students taking a media and communications class have a final assignment: no cell phone or Internet use for one week. Their professor (also the filmmaker) says she is not antitechnology but pro-human. She wants her students to realize how they use technology and social media in their lives and how their human interactions are affected by this use. The students keep video diaries of their "digital cleanse" week, and excerpts from these diaries are intercut with interviews with the students. The film ends with sound advice on how to monitor one's social media usage and how to judge what is the best application of technology. Want to send out information to the masses? Use social media. Want to get more personal? Email or call someone. Really need to connect? Make the time for face-to-face, in-person communication. There are two versions of the film, one about half the length of the other. Both get the message across, but the shorter version is clearer, without any meandering sidetracks.
VERDICT This film covers all the usual points about how technology and social media can adversely impact people's lives, and the students are appealingly genuine. A suitable additional purchase for a media studies or psychology class.

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