Shay on social media: “It is not reality, it’s the best of that best moment of that day, it has been curated and perfected and filtered a million times.”
Netflix’s new series You is a certified global hit and its stars Penn Badgley and Shay Mitchell recently visited Manila to talk about their characters and shared in depth details about the show. In a press conference organized by Netflix at the Peninsula Manila on Monday, January 14, Penn and Shay pointed out how the show became relatable and popular because it tackles the impact of social media in modern society, which is a topic people can easily relate to.
You is a psychological thriller television series, which tells the story of Joe Goldberg, (Penn), a New York bookstore manager, who falls in love with a customer named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail) and quickly becomes obsessed with her. In the initial part of the show, Joe utilizes social media to stalk Beck.
According to Shay, how social media is being portrayed in the series is pretty much identical to what is happening in the real world. The actress remarked, “I mean it’s interesting because I’ve said this before, there are so many people that could be in love or become obsessed with somebody that they never even met before and that's the world we live in now. You get to know all this information that person is putting out there and making out who this person is in your mind, this imaginary vision, and I completely get that people get fascinated with people because you feel that you get to know them with what they put out there.”
With that, Shay stressed that everyone should recognize the fact that what we see on social media is far from real life and it is rather just a montage of what people wants to highlight in their public persona. “As long as you're using it and you know that the image you are seeing are people's highlight reels - it is not reality, it’s the best of that best moment of that day, it has been curated and perfected and filtered a million times - if you go into knowing that, then you could use it appropriately,” she said.
Meanwhile, Penn has this to say about the negative portrayal of social media in the show. “I think Joe reveals the unsettling logic that actually a lot of us has in the worst way about social media but I think that the best way, it is a tool and there is nothing inherently wrong about it at all,” he stated.
The actor also shared that pulling off a character like Joe was a collaborative effort between him and the production team of You. Penn added that he doesn’t consider Joe as someone who actually exists in the real world. “I think it was always a balance between making this guy real and also to me, he is not a real person. I was not thinking of like a clinical portrayal of a real psychopath. I was thinking sometimes of that and other times he is meant to represent things inside of all of us, you know, like the internet troll. Joe in some ways is the internet troll,” he stated.