In a society where social media influencers and hashtags rule our media, I think it is important to note how much of an impact these individuals impact the minds of the youth. When browsing the available movie titles around Halloween, I came across a “#Alive,” which is a Korean zombie thriller out on Netflix which eerily relates to the current lockdown of COVID-19. The movie focuses on the character Joon-Woo who wakes up one morning after spending some time streaming as a professional gamer only to find out that his parents went out to work, leaving him with the task of grocery shopping. He doesn’t seem to know how to take care of household chores and relies on his mother to prepare things for him. Upon turning on the television, he wakes up to the announcement of a lockdown, encouraging all civilians to remain inside their homes and to wait for updates through the television or radio. When he looks out his window, he sees the reality of zombies taking over his city. He worries about rationing his remaining food and water while slowly losing hope. He is quite tech savvy, uses a drone to monitor his surroundings, and even promotes a Twitter hashtag and daily videos to his followers -just in case anyone is listening. Before deciding to end his life, he is saved by a girl named Yoo-Bin in an adjacent apartment complex and they work together to make it out of their city, fighting hungry zombies and a crazy neighbor who lures survivors to feed his“zombified” wife. Despite the challenges, the two protagonists make it out of their dangerous situations by escaping to the complex’s rooftop where a helicopter hovered nearby as a result of Joon-Woo’s social media posts which have become viral. The film ends with more images of survivors who followed Joon-Woo’s posts and used the hashtags to share their location.
As a teacher, I would relate this to my students who use the same gaming platform as Joon-Woo and stream their personal lives for others to see. I would also show that the media does make a significant impact on the government and how society reacts. Especially in relation to how influential Joon-Woo’s hashtag was in sparking hope to other Koreans in the story, the government was able to use that data to locate survivors. I think this movie can be used to relate digital citizenship to students especially in an era of distance learning. Since we know that anything on the internet really does stay on the internet for a long time even if we “delete” it, our students should be watchful about what goes on the internet especially during their streams or posts. Digital citizenship is important and makes an impact on individuals. Students should be wary of what goes online.