The 13th Floor

You’ll Never Trust Your Phone After Watching the Chilling Short HARVEST

It’s nothing new to read an article or watch a news piece warning about society’s obsession with their smartphones, social media and other technology that seems permanently linked to our own lives and behavior patterns. But Kevin Byrnes’ new short film HARVEST kicks that creeping concern into a paranoid nightmare straight out of a BLACK MIRROR episode.

But the scariest thing about HARVEST’s disturbing scenario is that it’s not just a dystopian fantasy — it’s basically a documentary. Everything that happens over the film’s 11-minute runtime is happening right now, all over the world, in some form or another… maybe even to you.

The film documents a week in the life of Jenni, an iPhone user who leads a fairly ordinary life — dropping her kids off at school, heading to work, running errands, and so on… but there’s a disturbing aspect to her day-to-day routine: Jenni is being watched. Every movement, every choice, and every interaction she makes is being monitored, recorded and even shared, by a device she knowingly keeps with her all day.

But the creepiest thing of all? The phone “narrates” the film, from the point of view of an extremely detail-oriented stalker.

A similar stalker could be in your hand right now as you read this article and watch the video below.

Byrnes explained to The Atlantic (who showcased the film on their site) how his research into third-party tracking services — whose ability to spy on our daily activities are getting easier with every app we download to our devices.

“I don’t think people are aware of what they are giving away in order to get these [smartphone app] conveniences,” Byrnes told The Atlantic. “I want people to think about the apps they use and take a moment to ask themselves if what they are getting is worth what they are giving. If not, delete the app.”

After watching HARVEST, you might be inclined to take him up on that advice…