The terrors of technology are addressed with ersatz even-handedness by DSKNECTD, a film as clumsy as the spelling of its title.
Dominic White’s documentary addresses our gadget infatuation by addressing three topics — texting, online gaming, and social media — with a mixture of begrudging acceptance that usage paradigms aren’t drastically going to change, and outright fear-mongering regarding the horrible, terrible, cataclysmic consequences that await iPhone- and Twitter-loving youngsters.
The talking heads temper their comments just enough to avoid sounding like doomsday prophets, and the film acknowledges that our Internet-enabled devices can be constructive tools for interpersonal, cultural, and professional interaction.
Yet the film is dominated by frightening statistics and even more alarming anecdotes, one of which, about a Chinese couple letting their baby starve to death so they could play an MMORPG, is re-enacted for maximum scare value. While many of its arguments are commonsensical, DSKNECTD‘s fundamental problem is that it too often trades in ominous conjecture and unverifiable worst-case-scenario suggestions about what sexting and online porn will do to the children.
Urging people to put down their phones in favor of face-to-face communication or quiet introspection, it’s an over-the-top cautionary doc less convincing than the weight-loss ads on Facebook.