The digital age has brought several conveniences and inconveniencies to the modern life. The sweeping changes that have been brought about by the digital age have affected almost all aspects of life. The ease of access to information has also enabled people to question their choices in life and contemplate how their careers will be affected by the digital age.
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This happens to two salesmen whose careers become irrelevant due to the digital age. These two men are the subject of the movie “The Internship” which premiered in 2013. The movies portrays several shocks that have been brought about by the digital age including diminishing careers, changing work environments, changes in employer-employee relations, among other shocks.
The dynamics of the business world are also shifting from a profit oriented business culture towards a more people oriented corporate culture. Over the last ten years, several movies have addressed various angles of these changes in the employer-employee relations through several movies such as “The Horrible Bosses” and “The Heist”.
These movies depict the souring relationships between employers and employees. The recent revolution in the corporate world involves bridging this gap and making employees feel more like part of the corporate world and less like ‘tools’ to be used by corporate world.
This revolution has brought about workplace day-care programs, extended paternity leaves, recreational facilities in the workplace, additional employee freedom, and giving employees access to free stuff.
“The Internship” is able to capture the Zeitgeist spirit of the changes occasioned by the digital age and the quest to bridge the employee-employer gap in today’s corporate environment.
“The Internship” is a movie about two men, Billy and Nick who find themselves jobless after their line of business becomes obsolete. This is after their employer goes out of business due to the diminishing demand for watches. Billy then applies for the internship positions at the giant tech company, Google.
The two friends are consequently accepted for the summer internship in spite of their advanced ages. At Google, Nick and Billy find themselves as the odd interns when they are pitted against the other ivy-league schooled interns. The terms of the internship specify that interns “form teams that compete against each other and the members of the winning team get jobs at Google” (The Internship).
Billy and Nick team up with three other odd-placed interns and their group is led by an equally odd character, Stuart. The movie depicts among other things the work environment at Google, the interrelationships between top-level employees and lower-level employees, and the type of employees that are found at Google.
Google is a company with a global outlook and it represents the most advanced level of digital culture. Right from the time Billy and Nick arrive at Google headquarters, they are bombarded with shocking levels of advanced digital technology.
For instance, at the company’s entrance the two interns encounter a car that is ‘driving itself’ (The Internship). This advancement in digital technology is a reality in the modern world. The leading players in digital technology are always trying to outdo each other by fronting what is thought to be the most advanced level of digital technology (Kosfeld and Siemens 25).
The remotely driven car is an example of displays of advanced digital technology. Due to the changing nature of the digital technology, today’s society is always on the lookout for the ‘newest’ form of technology. This need has prompted tech companies to dedicate a vast amount of their resources to finding the next big thing in technology.
This movie represents the spirit of the fast changing digital age in a number of ways. In another instance, the interns’ teams are given the challenge of coming up with a phone app that is most likely to appeal to the public. Therefore, the winning app must represent the newest levels of digital technology.
Corporations are going to great lengths to ensure that their employees are representative of the diversity of the modern world. Globalization has made it possible for anyone to work anywhere in the planet irrespective of the accompanying differences in cultures.
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The corporations are also working hard to bridge the cultural gap between different ethnicities around the world. For example, today there are various technological applications that are aimed at bridging this cultural gap. “The Internship” represents the spirit of diversity through the movie’s cast.
The interns in Billy and Nick’s group consist of Neha who is of Indian descent, Yo-Yo who is Chinese, among other diverse groups and mentalities. For example Neha, Stuart, Graham, and Yo-Yo all exhibit several deficiencies in their social behaviors. The spirit of diversity in the modern world is not restricted to racial diversity.
However, diversity today calls for the inclusion of people who exhibit differing social behaviors. For example, the popular American comedy “The Big Bang Theory” portrays diversity among people of different intellectual abilities. “The Internship” seeks to capture the same spirit by portraying interns of different age groups, races, social orientations, and intellectual abilities (The Internship).
The issues of misunderstandings among diverse groups are not synonymous with the digital age. For instance, the race issue does not come up in “The Internship” but other forms of diversity such as age and intellectual diversity are referred to in the movie. This spirit of the changing nature in diversity is well captured in the movie.
From the 1900s, the relationship between employees and employers has been strained. First, there were the repressive working conditions during the industrial revolution (Bernstein 67). Then there were the employee inequality issues in the 1950s.
More recently, the disparities between top-level and low-level employees that were highlighted during the recession have been the subject of rebuke within the modern society. This movie is able is able to capture the spirit of the changing nature of corporate culture. For example, the issue of employee rank is not emphasized in the movie.
It is not until the end of the movie when the identity of the silent employee commonly known as “Headphones” is revealed. ‘Headphones’ holds the esteemed position of the head of Google search. Previously, he could only be found around the premises blending with the rest of employees including interns.
Moreover, most employees in the movie are given titles in accordance with the departments they work for as opposed to having titles that reflect on their rank. The movie is able to capture the spirit of change in the employer-employee relations.
“The Internship” is a movie that details the work environment in one of the most respected corporations in the world. The movie is able to depict how the digital age is changing people’s lives as well as the corporate environment.
The movie represents the Zeitgeist spirit in matters of the digital age and the corporate environment. In future, the movie will be used to investigate the digital age at its prime.
Bernstein, Irving. Turbulent Years: A History of the American Worker 1933-1941, New York, NY: Haymarket Books, 2010. Print.
Kosfeld, Michael and Ferdinand Siemens. “Competition, Cooperation, and Corporate Culture.” The RAND Journal of Economics 42.1 (2011): 23-43. Print.
The Internship. Dir. Shawn Levy. Perf. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Wild West Picture Show Productions, 2013. Film.