reflection or multi-tasking critique? – live-tweeting reflection

Live-tweeting has been a fun and unique learning experience which challenges the way I think about media consumption, the act of multitasking and how we analyse texts to discuss larger issues. Upon reflection of the first five weeks of live-tweeting, I want to start considering what I can do to develop my process and create more engaging content.

The first week’s screening was Metropolis (1927), which was a fascinating experience as I was able to analyse the film in a different lens compared to HSC English.

I began to enjoy researching filmmaking techniques employed and found myself reflecting on how much the technology has evolved as techniques which may have been ground-breaking for its time have become common in the science fiction genre.

Additionally, I liked drawing visual comparisons to themes in the movies and parts of our daily reality in order to demonstrate how deeply accurate and resonant the predictions the movies projected.

There were tight connections to the research my peers were undergoing. Adding to this research and contributing to discussion led to us having a deeper understanding of the themes explored.

The next week’s screening was 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

Again, I found myself fascinated by film techniques in portraying themes of the future.

Through pre-screening research and reading the plot, it was entertaining to see people picking up on foreshadowing.

The pre-screening research also came in handy for the movies with more confusing plots. Some peers experienced the same confusion so I actively ensured to share resources that helped my understanding.

I began to notice that creating engaging content sometimes involves explicitly asking my audience a question in order to start discussion.

This screening also brought life to Dator’s Laws of the Future, as discussed in lectures. 2001: A Space Odyssey explicitly demonstrates how technological change triggers social change (Gasquez 2016). By telling the tale of the first weapon made of a bone to a flash forward to robots gaining consciousness and claiming power over humans; it demonstrates how “we shape our tools, and then our tools shape us”.

In Week 3 we screened Westworld (1973).

An interesting comparison brought out of this movie is that science fiction plots are often sophisticated versions of behaviours we already have. When considering this under the lens of future studies, these movies act as a warning of where these acts could lead us in the future.

Another week, and more filmmaking technique to analyse.

The filmmaking research I undertook for Westworld was extra fascinating as it was revealed that the technicians working on the movie were already trying to predict the future of their careers, wondering what will happen once computers are able to automatically generate the effects they laboured for hours on. This act mirrors Bell’s theory of possible and probable futures, where the technicians were observing the changes in culture and technology and employing this knowledge to consider that their preferable futures may not be the probable ones due to their job becoming obsolete and evolving (Bell 1998 p.328).

The next week, we viewed Blade Runner (1982)

By now, I was able to draw tight comparisons to all of the screenings. I was starting to understand how these films and themes were pivotal to future studies.

The themes were also relatable on a personal level. I began reflecting on my own connection to technology and considering how it is different to my parents, and how it will be different to my potential children’s.

The screening of Ghost in the Shell (1995) allowed me to reflect on both my own DA and lecture material – really tying together my understanding of how I am undergoing future studies through these screenings.
I considered the idea of a future where we would be able to select our “shell” or physical appearance. Would we all become bored of the conventional idea of attractiveness? Or will we become so overwhelmed by our choices that whatever selection we make will leave us still feeling dissatisfied?
A lot of the discussion during Ghost in the Shell was philosophical debate over whether an artificial human with a consciousness is a “real” human. However, following the screening, this made me consider the risks of a future where we introduce artificial elements to our consciousness. Kahn suggests the event of a “megadeath” where one million deaths could be caused by a nuclear explosion (1960). However, through these screenings, I have come to believe that a “megadeath” would come in the form of informational harm, much like the hacking of peoples consciousness in Ghost in the Shell.

For future screenings, I want to continue to improve my live-tweeting skills, both in use of media and engagement with my peers.

I have noticed that some of my tweets, even though they include interesting facts, potentially require a follow up question or reflection in order to increase engagement. 

Additionally, I want to widen the scope of media used on twitter. I have noticed some peers using polls to develop simple yet effective engagement with other people in order to gain insight into opinions. 

To really elevate my research and live-tweeting going forward, I have come up with a new study schedule to ensure I am tying lecture material and film theory together as well as possible in order to truly understand my contribution to future studies.
Wednesday nightResearch film, film theory and themes
Take notes on interesting potential tweets
Thursday morningWatch weekly lecture
Take notes on points in lecture that relate to film
Draft and schedule tweets
During screeningUndergo research on themes and theories peers tweet about to start interactions

A bonus mention must go out to my Simpsons references. I have really enjoyed sourcing scenes from the Simpsons that reference our screenings. I think that highlighting these references is an important part of reflection of these films as it demonstrates how themes in science-fiction movies can be applied to different genres and contribute to certain messages. It is extra appropriate for this subject as the Simpsons is famous for being in-tune with culture, as well as its ability to predict the future. 


Bell, W 1998 ‘Making people responsible: The possible, the probable, and the preferable’ American Behavioural Scientist, Vol 42(3), Nov-Dec, 1998 Special Issue: Futures studies in higher education. pp. 323-339. 

Gasquez, O 2016 ‘Why you need to learn the basic principles of Futures studies’ in Medium, Dec 13,

Kahn, H 1960 On Thermonuclear War, Princeton University Press


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