We now live in a world where the majority of its population relies on a life constantly connected to the internet and social media. This fairly recent phenomena that keeps our eyes glued to a screen and our fingers stuck to a keyboard, grew, and is still growing, so rapidly that it is at this time almost unimaginable living without it. How many times a day do you check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or WhatsApp? According to studies there are currently more than 2 billion social media users in the world, a number that keeps growing day by day.
One could therefore conclude that this big topic has been subject to various great movies and documentaries, shaping the cons and pros of this limitless technology. It has become such a big part of our lives that it can sometimes mislead us into dangers we never imagined facing. This 24/7 wired connectivity, through blogs, websites, chatrooms and much more has created such a big impact on the communication, privacy and identity of individuals, that cinema simply had to take the plunge and critically reflect upon the endless benefits and, more frequently, the dark-sided disadvantages it carries. Taking that on board, here is the list of top movies about the internet and social media ever. You can watch some of these best internet movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Some of these are social media horror movies.
10. Men, Women and Children ( 2014)
“Men, Women and Children” narrates the different approaches to the internet and social media that interrelating mothers and daughter, fathers and sons, take. From a teenager that silences his pain through video gaming, to a controlling parent that dominates her daughter’s social accounts in fear of cyber abuse, it refers numerous themes that live within this topic. Although its slow pace and heavy monotone rhythm, it is a good work where every character grows in a certain way and shows the dangers and positive possibilities of this communicative technology. From the director of “Juno”, this movie transmits a general overview of the social issues we all know about but offers as well a more positive perspective than most movies do about the internet and social media.
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9. Nerve (2016)
This colourful adventurous thriller takes us into the consequences of Venus’ (Emma Roberts) decision in taking part in an online “truth or dare” game called “Nerve”. She becomes a “player” who must accept dares given to her in order to pursue the game, only to find herself trapped by this technological creation in a more dangerous manner than she could have ever imagined. This movie puts out the risks of internet’s limitless possibilities and exposes how far people might go anonymously through an exciting and visually eventful storyline. Perhaps lacking emotional stimulus, it clearly portrays today’s idea of teenage negligence towards internet’s dangers and lack of evaluation between what’s virtual and real. An entertaining session feeding you suspense and tension.
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8. Cyberbully (2015)
This television drama thriller stars Maisie Williams as the main and almost only character and is set entirely in her bedroom, with parts of footage from her computer’s camera’s perspective. For the duration of one hour, Casey’s privacy is hacked and put in danger, through an anonymous user who accuses her for being a bully and forces her to admit her crimes. With an amazing performance by Williams, this story grips us emotionally from beginning to end, revealing darker secrets by the second, never-failing to surprise with its disturbing and suspenseful peaks . It is a true and realistic exposure of cyber cruelty with a strong and striking lesson on how downgrading paths social media can take us. Not only by showing the results of cyberbullying, but also taking a look at how vulnerable our privacy might actually be.
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7. Trust (2010)
“Trust” is a strong film touching upon the issue of online chatting and how the person behind a distant screen might not be the face one imagined it to be. Similar to the subject matter of the known “Catfish” series, only with darker and more serious consequences, it exposes the little information we can actually get from social media’s faceless users and how tricky this world that we freely navigate in can be. The unfortunate story of fourteen-year-old Annie (Liana Liberato), who becomes victim of sexual abuse by a man she meets online and who pretended to be somebody else, insightfully portrays the raw reality of these issues, regularly found in today’s society.
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6. Invention of Trust (2016)
This dramatic short-movie, directed by Alex Shaad is an excellent german production that takes the idea of online privacy violation to a whole other level. Michael is a young and successful teacher at a high school, that finds himself enslaved to a new website titled “b.good”. This platform has taken all kinds of personal information (photos, texts, likes, events) and uses it in order to rate the man’s personality and professional ability. As you can imagine, the process of ruining his life is not only done by this mysterious site but also by the selfish attitude of his surroundings. Its disturbing plot leaves us with a positive rage and outburst towards its crazy escalating conflict making it definitely worth watching.
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5. We Live In Public (2009)
Internet pioneer Josh Harris is the subject of this Ondi Timoner documentary, which simultaneously explores and questions the safety of privacy in this online world that never sleeps. It follows his life and experiences, with special focus on his strange art project “Quiet : We Live in Public”. An interesting observation and perhaps prediction of the future internet generation. The critique is raised as to how far people might allow the internet to own their privacy in exchange of public recognition. Although it raises various opinions and Harris’ obsession might backfire his out-of-the-ordinary approach and point, it is a highly unusual documentary about a fascinating and absorbing theme.
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4. Unfriended (2014)
If found footage frustrates you, stay away, as this horror movie is almost entirely shown through the computer screen of one of six characters engaging in a Skype discussion. When an anonymous account logs into their chat session, the teenagers soon understand they’re being strangely haunted by a dead student who committed suicide after public embarrassment and bullying. As the movie’s images and visuals look just like your own computer screen, it is quite strong on the realism aspect, giving it a modern and original twist to the classic horror guidelines. It blends in the supernatural with our world of Internet, Facebook and so on, through a nice suspenseful build up in a constant and matching atmosphere.
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3. Disconnect (2012)
The message this American drama wants to send to its viewers is precisely what the title conveys. At the end of the day, disconnecting from this constant wired flowing communication and data exchange, is what brings us back together to the true face-to-face human connection that we all need. It is an instructive examination into this daily technological flood of the Internet Age, that leads a group of characters into different conflictual situations. Throughout 3 different storylines that interconnect, we get a look at the downsides of this modernisation and hopefully realise that internet and social media’s wonders have a limit.
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2. Terms and Conditions May Apply (2013)
How many times have you used the Internet for purchase purposes, or downloaded an App on your phone, or agreed on long and complex documents in order to pursue with whatever research you were busy with? With almost every move we make online, we are giving away personal information. Sometimes, without knowing, it can then be used and sold by companies or governments on the other side of the world, wether you like it or not. “Terms and Conditions May Apply” is a highly interesting and educative documentary by Cullen Hoback that talks precisely about this issue we face on our daily activities surfing the web. Focusing on the user-service agreements we all face when registering on a website but (let’s face it) hardly read, this film focuses on the dangers of clicking “I Agree” without knowing what’s behind it.
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1. The Social Network (2010)
This renowned film was a critical and commercial success, receiving multiple nominations and awards for the excellence of its making. With an amazing performance by Jesse Eisenberg, it simply had to be mentioned as it relates the beginnings and creation of one of today’s biggest social media platforms, which is variously used as an example in the other movies touching upon this subject. Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg is here portrayed in a very interesting light as it not only shows the brilliance and genius of his invention but also the complications that came along, mainly the public claim that his idea was stolen from other students. With David Fincher’s outstanding direction and visual style, a talented cast and compelling plot, here’s a movie to add to your list.
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