Super connected was a timely event for me, as I had just read the first couple of chapters of Stolen Focus – a book by Johann Hari that looks at the impact of our modern culture with it’s constant barraging of our psyches with screen based stimulus that often leads to an inability to focus and a diminished capacity to really think in real depth about the salient issues of our time. Our attention is being hijacked.
These themes were central to Tim and Kate’s thought provoking film and Tim’s brilliant album. We were asked to seal our mobiles up in bags, noticing any discomfort we might feel about this and were invited to listen to the full album together, which is also the soundtrack to the film. A radical act to really slow down, engage and listen.
The impact of our culturally sanctioned screen addiction is powerfully iterated through the dysfunctional family that feature in the film, most strikingly through the poignant depiction of the elder daughter, brilliantly acted by Dixie McDevitt. She is evidently struggling with debilitating screen addiction, she does not leave her room .. the only light she is exposed to is that of the screen, perhaps an understandable response to family discord .. but one that is detrimentally impacting her mental health.
The Super connected experience is a poignant reflection on our current relationship to our phones and virtual reality, a sharp reminder to be vigilant of the often consumerist agenda of those who are invested in stealing our attention. Super Connected invites us to really engage with what is perhaps, one of the most important issues of our time. We really need put our phones away and spend time meaningfully connecting with each other, in person.
– Michelle Baker Jones Psychotherapeutic Counsellor based in Kingston Upon Thames and lead psychedelic therapist with Imperial College.