Rob has just finished his first album and is excited to see it blow up. He moves to New York City dreaming of a career as a successful recording and performing musician. But meeting after meeting with music managers and agents ends with the same question: "How many social media followers do you have?“. Rob has none.
Over the months that follow, Rob devotes every second to building his online following. He trades his real life for a virtual one. His obsession with chasing online status, followers and friends becomes an overwhelming pressure. He feels stressed and restless. It costs him his girlfriend, his job and ultimately his health.
He decides to travel to Mongolia to shoot a music video, hoping that it will go viral. When he returns home, he publishes the video on YouTube but nobody notices. He is devastated. He realizes he’s trapped in the spiral of virtual reality, with only a few more followers than he had when he started. Depression looms over him and he stops writing music.
Social Media - his supposed new ally - has become his worst enemy.
Rob begins to wonder whether other people feel the same emptiness. He finds himself talking about this issue with others, asking artists and professionals compulsively about their social media habits. Are these people happy? Are they successful? Do those things coincide with their social media lives?
Suddenly these questions become more important than the music itself. How do we measure success? What’s social media’s role? Is it just a cry for attention? Why aren’t we living in the moment any more? Are these expectations real or are we just tricked into spending more time on our screens? How are we supposed to cope with the technology pervading our lives?
Rob leaves New York and his dream behind to escape the digital noise and embarks on a journey around the world to find human connection, the stillness of nature and an alternative way of life. But most of all…he leaves to disconnect with technology and reconnect with himself.
"Searching for Contact" is a journey of reconnecting with reality and breaking free from the constraints of technology.