Last night my teenage daughter and I watched a thriller called Nerve, a new movie starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco. Nerve portrays a world where young people chase after instafame by completing dares while a virtual audience watches. It also explores themes such as loss of privacy on social media and with games like Pokemon Go, and it shows how the online crowd veiled in anonymity can bring out bile, hate and shame.
Watching young people like my daughter and her friends on their phones, one can easily give in to anxiety and imagine the next generation becoming a nation of drone like people tethered to devices. This is the dystopian vision introduced inNerve. The movie highlights how the Internet can bring out the worse qualities of humankind and suggests that this future is 10 minutes away. When we witness people like Milo Yiannopoulis and his army of drones hate bashing on Twitter, it’s easy to believe we are already there.