First, it was the grunts and cave paintings. Then, it was the letters and newspapers. Somewhere along the way came the telegrams and phone calls; the radio adverts and T.V. commercials; the 140-character tweets, Facebook likes and iMessages.
It takes a short film like “Noah” to remind us how far communication has come, but our Faustian thirst for knowledge has never wavered. Written and directed by Ryerson University’s Patrick Cederberg and Walter Woodman and aired at Toronto International Film Festival’s Student Film Showcase, “Noah” is the modern story — visually told through a MacBook Pro laptop screen and an iPhone.
While the format of this 17.5-minute film seems progressive, it’s the one we live in.
Like many of us millennials, high school senior Noah Lennox (Sam Kantor) grew up in a world where Facebook stalking was the norm. When a random guy comments on all of his girlfriend Amy’s (Caitlin McConkey-Pirie) Facebook photos, he suspects she might be cheating on him. So what does Noah do? He logs into Amy’s Facebook account to snoop.
This mundane scenario’s not so different from what certain members of the NSA are doing, showing us how easy it is to creep. Think about all the information you readily share on your social media profiles everyday.
But spying — like sampling poisoned fruit from the tree of knowledge — rips you from paradise.
Surveying 82 people over a fortnight, University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross’ new study found that increased viewing of Facebook makes you unhappier. For Noah, insecurity and paranoia manifested from his Facebook use, ruining his relationship with his girlfriend.
Sadly, their stories are our stories. And even if we don’t crave the taste of poisoned fruit, we’re already addicted to the Internet.
WARNING: The following video contains brief NSFW nudity.
“Noah” won Best Canadian Short Film at the 2013 TIFF.