Will They Like This?
Social media is everywhere, and it’s affecting how we live out our lives. Whether it’s a scenic location or even on a boring street, you might see people stopping to take selfies for their social media pages. Diners take pictures of their meals before eating them. The moment anything happens, you’ll probably hear or read about it. There’s no need to wonder about what others might think about the news when you can see their opinions, in their own words and in real time. Hoping to reach viral fame, people pull off more ridiculous feats. Likes, shares, followers, and reposts have become metrics of success.
Two artists used animation to comment on the rise of social media. In his music video for Carmen, Stroma takes aim at the hashtag culture that prevails on sites like Twitter. Through a short film entitled Infinite Scroll, Pete Henderson examines the information overload provided by news feeds.
Animated Short: Infinite Scroll by Pete Henderson
According to Pete Henderson, Infinite Scroll is an animated short about the prefabrication of social media. Selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick, the short features the animation, illustration, and sound design of Henderson and the music of Heno. With a runtime of almost two and a half minutes, Infinite Scroll uses a little time to say a lot about social media.
The animated short uses subdued shades of green, blue, orange, yellow, and black. Bold borders and streamlined curves make it appear similar to the things you’d see on modern infographics. Heno’s music accentuates the clip with drums and a repeating four-note riff.
In the short, a man comes home and throws his keys beside an empty plate. He goes upstairs and sits in front of a laptop on a desk. With his head leaning against his hand, the man scrolls through his social media feed. Little does he know that there’s a whole assembly line working underneath all the triumphs and travels of his friends.
Music Video: Carmen by Stromae
Carmen is a song from Stromae‘s second studio album, Racine carrée. The French rapper released the album in 2013. The melody of the song comes from “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle“, more popularly known as Habanero, a piece from George Bizet’s 1875 opera named Carmen. The song’s lyrics relate love to Twitter’s cycle of following and unfollowing people.
Sylvain Chomet provided the animation for the music video. Using a cartoon animated style, the video warns against social media addiction. The video begins with a small cute bird flying into a man’s room. The bird flies onto the man shoulder and stays near him as he eats meals, walks on streets, celebrates birthdays, and falls in love. The bird grows and becomes more menacing as the man ages. After an argument, the man and the snarling blue bird leave the apartment. The pair join a line of other birds with people on them. The birds throw people off a cliff, shrink in size, and repeat the cycle.