Lessons learned from technology in movies


Medha Upadhyay, Features Editor

These days, movies all seem to be be casting one key player: technology. Surprised? Don’t be. Technology has been woven into the very fabric of several recent movies. But this is not just a trend. It shows that today’s young adults know what technology abuse looks like, and how to conquer it. Despite what others may think, millennials are not really addicted to tech, and this is made clear in the movies that they choose to watch. These stories show that young adults know how thin the line is between humanity and technology, and they know better than to cross it.


Synopsis: When an alien species came to Earth through breaches in the oceans, people built monstrous robots to fight back. But when the newly automated robots are compromised, the pilots must go old school and manually control their robots in order to keep the world safe.

Lesson: Technology can help us fight monsters bigger than us and gives us a fighting chance against problems that would otherwise be too overwhelming. At the same time, however, more automation is not always better, and making things easier day by day is not always the best way to go. Being physically present is important, and not everything can be shortcutted; remote control can result in connections being compromised.


Based on the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Synopsis: Ready Player One is set in 2045, where the world is on the brink of chaos. People find refuge in the Oasis, a virtual reality. When the creator of the game dies, he leaves an immense fortune hidden in the game. A lowly player Wade Watts joins the hunt, only to find out that the stakes are even higher than he believed; corporations want to find the easter egg so they can control the billions of people who log in to play every day. Wade is afraid that they will corrupt the game and ruin the safe space that Oasis is. He teams up with other players that he meets in Oasis, and they work together to save the game that brought them together.

Lesson: Technology is not just about money. There is community, salvation, friendship, achievement and opportunity that can only be found online. Technology is not a monster or just a tool; it is an art. People can now find friends, build careers, share their work, gain fame and create relationships online. Technology may be a business, but it is also much more than that.



Based on the novel by Madeleine L’Engle

Synopsis: Five years ago, Meg’s father discovered a tesseract and used it to travel to another planet. Meg, her little brother Charles and her classmate Calvin embark on a dangerous journey to bring him back from the evil planet Camazotz. On Camazotz, an evil disembodied brain forces all the people to act exactly the same way. When Charles succumbs to its forces, Meg must fight to rescue him.

Lesson: Technology, when used properly, should not cause people to become the same; rather it should foster creativity and uniqueness. Although it may be true that the online culture perpetuates negative beauty standards, technology has also given many people the chance to be appreciated despite their differences. It allows them to meet like-minded people who have the same values and feel valued and appreciated even if they do not fit the typical mold for teenagers.



Based on the video game Tomb Raider by Crystal Dynamics

Synopsis: Lara Croft is the independent daughter of an explorer who vanished years ago. Hoping to solve the mystery of his disappearance, Lara sets out on a perilous journey to her father’s last-known destination, a tomb on a mythical island off the coast of Japan.

Lesson: The plot of the movie may not have much to do with technology, but it’s based on a video game. Video games are a form of technology that can make anyone feel powerful. It builds self-confidence and is open to everyone. By building up Lara Croft, this movie shows how video games can level playing fields; girls can play too, and nobody is held back by their physical appearance or strength. Everyone is treated the same in a video game, and that can bring courage and self-confidence to people that may normally feel inconsequential.



Based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli


Synopsis: Simon is a closeted gay teen, who begins a relationship with a mysterious online persona named Blue. His relationship with Blue eventually leads to him coming out to his family and friends.

Lesson: I know this movie isn’t sci-fi, but come on! They were brought together by the internet! Despite what everyone believes, not everyone who is nice to you on the internet is a kidnapper, and people can form genuine connections that give them hope and courage in the real world. It is important to know you’re not alone, and the internet has made it possible for many more teens to reach out to people they may have never met in real life. And sometimes, these friends turn out to be so amazing that we make the effort to bring them into our real lives.

Conclusion: Movies can easily be dismissed as unrealistic entertainment, but what people are watching says a lot about them. Today’s young adults see a hopeful future in technology. They know the power of technology, and use it to form genuine connections, to lift each other up, to find solace and comfort and to share their work. They use it to showcase their uniqueness, to level the playing field and rally together. They also, however, know better than to give their tech too much power. All that’s left is to see what more wonderful things they are able to create with their new tools.