AT FIRST GLANCE, Connected appears to be a documentary about the rapid pace with which the world has become networked with communication technology, and it is—but it's much more than that, too. Director Tiffany Shlain, also the founder of the Webby Awards, clearly spends a wealth of time thinking about such things, and her film is partly a warning that, like all major developments in human society, our sudden global interconnectedness will have far-reaching, long-term implications. And because, at its heart, our internet evolution has become about sharing parts of ourselves, Shlain deftly weaves her argument into a memoir about the death of her father Leonard Shlain, whose books theorizing elements of human progress have been a deep influence (Björk is also one of his fans), as well as the birth of her second child.
Connected is not an objective film, and Tiffany Shlain clearly wants to use it as a tool to shape our thinking about technology around how we can use it to save the world. Making a thorough argument that the human race is at a crossroads where we're either going to consume ourselves out of existence or come up with a better idea, she posits that by having formed a kind of worldwide collective super-brain, we're capable of the latter option.
But for all her cautioning, Shlain is fundamentally thrilled to be alive during the age in which these changes will manifest, and her excitement is contagious. If nothing else, Connected might infuse your tweeted pictures of lunch with a more noble sense of purpose.