How does the show “You” on Netflix encourage people to be more aware of the dangers of social media?

 The new show “You” on Netflix currently only has one season and 10 episodes, but so far it has been a hit. The entire plot revolves around a man named Joe, played by Penn Badgley. In the beginning of the show, I thought that Joe would be a protagonist, and he came across as a character who seems to be a nice guy, but in reality he ends up being the antagonist in the series. The other main character in this show is a girl named Beck. In the beginning of the show I did not catch on to the behaviors of Joe that I now see as alarming. When Joe first meets Beck and comes across as shy and sweet. He seems to be very attracted to her in a genuine way, but it becomes creepy when viewers can see him start to literally stalk her entire life and his lust for her turns into obsession that is not healthy.

The creepiest part of all of this is that Beck has no realization that Joe has been stalking her the entire time he has been getting to know her. Beck seems to think of him as a typical normal guy because that is how he comes across. Even before she truly gets to know him, she has no idea he is secretly a sociopath and that the behaviors he is displaying towards her are not normal. Joe finds Beck on social media immediately and this can seem normal at first because most people want to find their crush on Instagram and add them on Facebook, but it is not normal how after this Joe proceeds to analyze Beck’s life when he has only met her one time. Joe decides to search for Beck’s address online, find where she lives, and continue to stalk her day by day. It is crazy to watch this and know that Beck has no idea she is being watched. After watching “You,” I realize how important it is to look for any red flags in a relationship and while you are getting to know someone. Beck coincidentally lost two people in her life that were close to her, Peach and Benji, while she was dating Joe. She also just happened to run into him while she was on a family trip. This is a scene in the show where I am surprised Beck is not more alarmed. I think if Beck was not dealing with uncomfortable family drama she would have been able to catch on to Joe following her life a bit too closely.

How does this all connect to social media being dangerous? In today’s society people are always posting their whereabouts online, and many of their postings are public for everyone to see. If you go on Instagram to a public profile you are able to find out a lot about a person who posts a lot of content to their profile. It will show you the places they usually go to, where they live, their friends and family, and all of the details of their life. This is troubling when you think about a person like Joe in “You.” Joe is obviously not normal and his obsession with Beck is scary, but if the internet and social media did not exist, it would be a lot harder for him to find out all of the information on her that he did. It is creepy how you can go online and search up someone’s address, and how you can go on Snapchat and search your friend’s name to see their location. After watching this show I feel more aware and I think that is something everyone should take away from watching this. Joe is not a cute character, he is a murderer and a sociopath and that is how he should be viewed. It is scary to think that girls watch this show and believe he is their dream guy because of how much he dotes on Beck. In reality, nothing about him is dreamy. He stalks her, tries to control her, and ends up killing her in the end. Joe is an example of what to avoid in a relationship and this show is helpful because it shows viewers that it is better to keep things private and not to put out your every move on social media.

3 thoughts on “How does the show “You” on Netflix encourage people to be more aware of the dangers of social media?

  1. Nicole Fasciano
    I was very intrigued right from the start with your writing! I had watched the first episode of this show and decided to stop after the vibe I was getting, like you had addressed. I really have never been in a situation where I have felt stalked by someone to this degree, obviously, but I still find it alarming that this is a real problem and social media happens to be the means by which stalking can get progressively worse! I think as a society we truly do not know of the dangers that can come from social media. I definitely want to go back now and watch this show to examine more of the ways the character of Joe, slowly develops into the antagonist of the program. I think you did a very well job with this piece of writing and it was very engaging, great topic!

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  2. Hayley Parker
    Great points here! I liked how you included social media as being a target for predators. I personally keep all the social media platforms on private and I think that everyone should do so for their safety. In today’s society we revolve our lives over social media and don’t think twice about who is looking at us behind a computer or phone screen. I think this show could be a wake up call for people who put their lives out to the public on social media. You hear all too often of celebrities getting stalked and harassed, and I think a great deal of this has to do with them posting their whereabouts to the public.

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  3. (Emma Hoey) Spoiler alert! I had not finished the series before reading your post, however, I did see Beck’s death coming. In recent events in Boston, and around the US, many women have been abducted by people who were watching their locations, tracking their Ubers, and so on. This show does shine a light on the dangers of living our lives so publicly. I think, like Beck, that many women choose to have their accounts on public as a way to gain interest from others and interact with more people. The problem with this is clearly seen throughout the first season as their relationship turns toxic, manipulative, and deadly. Unfortunately, people can not turn a blind eye to the kinds of problems that public social media poses on personal safety. “You” is a drama, and a heightened version of events that can certainly happen, but are much more likely to happen on a smaller scale. The show uses fear as a thrilling element that keeps viewers watching. But fear is actually the reason I stopped watching this for weeks. Joe’s generally creepy actions concerned me to the point that I felt guilty watching Beck’s life fall apart. It was eerily similar to the kind of toxic relationships I have seen before, and was sickening. I fear more that women who are not educated on the dangers of public posts may not understand the show to actually be a giant ref-flag warning against being so public with personal lives.

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