Lately I have been thinking about how social media impacts how we consume art and entertainment, particularly movies. Personally, I feel that the impact has been negative, for the most part. The minute any news about an upcoming film is released, my Facebook and Twitter feeds will light up. Any casting announcement, any plot detail, will generate a flood of commentary, most of it negative. There are people who will bash a film based on a single promotional image that is released years before the final film hits theaters.
As soon as it was announced that "Ghostbusters" was being rebooted with an all-female case, the Internet went nuts. People went batshit crazy over the fact that one of their beloved movies was being recast with all women. From now until the end of time, I will be convinced that a good percentage of the naysayers were just sexist dicks who simply couldn't handle this. When the first image of the ladies in their costumes was released, it got even worse. Social media went absolutely apoplectic over it, to the point where I had to just stay away for a few days. That's how relentless it was. From the minute the film was announced, to the day it came out in theaters, the negativity just went on and on and on. Then, when the film was finally released, all of the negative "reviews" came out. I am still quite sure that many of these people never even saw the movie. Even if they did, they couldn't wait to run back to their computers to let the world know how much the movie sucked and how they were "right" all along. As I write this, these same people are still gloating over the fact that the film is projected to lose money. This Horror Nerd is so glad that he does not need this kind of validation.
For the record, I actually liked "Ghostbusters" (2016).
The point I am trying to make here is not so much about people expressing an opinion. That is certainly not going to change. My point is that in today's world of instant news and social media reach, I'm wondering how it all affects how we consume entertainment, specifically films and TV shows. Does the relentless negativity have an effect on the box office take or on TV viewership? I am not sure, but I tend to think that it might. Let's face it, movies are expensive, so if people see nothing but negativity written about a film, perhaps they are less likely to go and see it.
Beyond that, I think all of it has, overall, a negative impact on our collective enjoyment of film. Even though I personally do not care what someone else thinks of a film (I either like it or I don't), reading nothing but endless negativity does have an impact on me at times. It just wears me down. Especially this drive so many people seem to have to be "right". As soon as the first negative review of a film hits the Web, some people will post "See! I knew it was going to suck!" Well, good for you junior! I hope you can sleep better tonight feeling that way.
So.....rather than drone on and one about this, I will close by saying that I don't think that overall the Internet and social media are a bad thing when it comes to our shared experience with film and other entertainment. I do enjoy reading about what my friends thought of a particular film, or TV show. However, I do think that social media overall does cast a shadow of negativity over all of it. If a casting choice or plot decision is the least bit "controversial", people who consider themselves custodians of a particular property will spew their vitriol all over everything, and we're forced to just wade through all of it. All I can say is, don't let it consume you. If you're interested in something, go check it out, and judge for yourself.
Until next time.....thanks for reading!
The Horror Nerd