In anticipation of our trip home to Florida and our subsequent day in the Gulf of Mexico, I decided that my daughter and I truly needed to snorkel. The water is perfectly clear and while there are no coral reefs like those in Mexico, it’s still a stunning sight to see. Thing is, a snorkel, mask and fins are not cheap! Neither am I but, still, a budget is a budget. So I found a set on Craigslist and today will drive to the home of some strange man and buy his very slightly used fun-in-the-sun toys. If I listen to some of the masses, I should fear for my life. Surely he only says that he has a snorkel. In reality he lures people over, under the guise of snorkels, and kills them methodically. That’s the Craigslist community, right?
Nothing will serve to shatter that myth more than the documentary “Craigslist Joe.” This young man, Joe, decides to take 31 days of his life and live completely off of Craigslist. He walks away from his home with no money, no contact with anyone he knows, a new telephone number, new email addresses, a laptop, cell phone and a guy (that he found on Craigslist) to film the experience. He wants to know to what extent, in our indulgence in capitalism and technology, have we lost our sense of community. He wants to connect with people in the United States, get a snapshot of his country and use technology to do so.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Click here to read the entire PDF version of the “Craigslist Joe”: Technology, Community and Adventure article.
Jean-Anne Sutherland is assistant professor of sociology at University of North Carolina, Wilmington, USA, with one of her research focuses being the study of sociology through film.
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