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Awkward Tech and Social Media Use in Entertainment

Vampire Bill Skypes and Other Awkward Uses of Tech in Entertainment

You know the moment, a scene in a film is moving along swimmingly until the character decides to log in to a chat service with outlandish graphics and finishes every sentence with an inexplicable emoticon. The crime? Awkward and unnecessary use of technology and social media in entertainment. If the audience knows what they're watching is set for the current year, giving such explicit visual cues often just looks comical and can come off as blatant product placement.

These three scenes of awkward tech moments left us a bit puzzled.

  • True Blood — A notorious suspect of this action, True Blood characters' use of social media or the latest gadgets is odd because it's not a regular occurrence. Throughout season four, we have seen characters playing a zombie game on an iPad, Bill Skyping with Nan, and Alcide talk on his shiny iPhone 4. Alcide seems more like an Android or old-school flip phone kind of guy, don't you think?
  • Sweet Valley Confidential — The 2011 update on the Wakefield twins has the girls in the modern era, so of course their slang, fashion, and culture would mirror that. Reminding the reader that even Jessica Wakefied uses social media, though, might be a little too much, like in this quote about the twin's boredom in an unhappy relationship. "Even updating Twitter would be more exciting, if only I had something interesting to say."
  • Gossip Girl — An episode of the show last year showed Vanessa stalk a girl on Foursquare. This is actually a scary reminder of the privacy you're giving up through social media, but the whole premise was so out of character for Vanessa that it couldn't help but feel as though the app and service were forced in the plot.

While we do appreciate the effort of TV shows, movies, and books to stay culturally relevant, having characters check in or update a status can feel forced. After reading our looks at unneeded technology inclusion in media, are there any similar scenes that have left you wincing? If there are moments where the pop culture tech references were spot on, tell us those too!

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iamhuman iamhuman 4 years
I cringed at the use of PCs in NCIS : Los Angeles. Specifically whenever they found the bad guys' laptop already soaked in water or burned to a crisp in the obligatory explosion. They turned to their handy, know it all tech guy to recover whatever data that survived. So the techie spend hours rebuilding the WHOLE motherboard against the clock with the small lady boss (who was a super spy during the Cold War, like almost all the bosses in both NCIS shows) keep telling they need the info now or his job/a witness's life is on the line. Cringed moment : the techie REBUILT the whole motherboard! No, really. The guy just tried to rebuilt the whole laptop - they took out the motherboard, put it on the table and fixed it so that can be turned on again....it either blew up or the guy only managed to recover ONE piece of receipt/JPEG that would lead the team to their next destination. I've read that after Hurricane Katrina, a lot of businesses turned to data recover companies to do some data recovery. . All they need is just the hard disk!. Even in youtube there are videos of amateurs doing data recovery just through the hard disk! Why try to rebuild the soaked/burnt motherboard when the data's safe and sound inside a hermetically sealed hard disk, ready to be copied into another undamaged laptop. Even I did it with a number of friends' PCs. There was really no need to bring the motherboards back to life. This happened twice in the series. In season 1 and 2! I was already uninterested in the series so this scenes just nailed the coffin.
Shannon-Vestal Shannon-Vestal 4 years
I cringed at the Facebook reference in Contagion. It seemed tossed in to be zeitgeisty, and didn't make much sense.
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