In the Blink of an Eye: Digital Narrative

Underlying Research

Binge drinking, the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol in a relatively short time-frame (Drug Free World 2017), is generally known to be a dangerous activity yet it still occurs on an alarmingly regular basis, particularly with teenagers and young adults. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause an impaired ability to make decisions and maintain self-control (Drinkaware 2016). This means that accidents and regrets from poor decision making are much more likely to occur on a night out. This can include arguments with friends, violence, illness from consuming too much alcohol, being more likely to drive under the influence, and potential serious injury or death (ibid). Because alcohol consumption is deeply embedded in Australian social culture, it is unrealistic to campaign for its complete removal. However, teaching young people to recognise the point at which they need to stop is achievable and necessary, as 430 people are hospitalised daily due to alcohol-related causes and fifteen people die from the same cause (Santow 2014). Although alcohol consumption is a means of relaxing, having some fun and being social, the point at which that becomes dangerous can change everything in the blink of an eye.

Developing Digital Essay

The moment at which a night out spirals out of control was my main focus in creating this essay. ‘The blink of an eye’ became a metaphor to describe how fast a good night can turn bad. I decided to aim to create an emotional impact and used a close up shot of a woman’s eye blinking slowly and staring ahead as she looks back on a good night turned bad and tries to figure out where the turning point was, where she should have stopped before the situation became out of hand. I contrasted the stillness and numbness of the video with a heavily layered audacity soundtrack. The base track, a pop song, was used in the first half to represent the first part of the night being fun and care-free. As more alcohol was consumed and more issues arose, the fun soundtrack died off. The sound begins with a group of friends laughing together, dancing and taking photos, excited about the night to come. Slowly the drinks continue to pour, more people come into the scene and the intoxication levels of each person rise. Issues begin to arise; one woman is throwing up, others get into arguments, a man begins slutshaming some girls, one has an emotional breakdown and several climb into a car, heavily drunk, and crash, causing the death of one girl. 18 percent of car accident fatalities in Australia are alcohol-related (Benjamin & Leonardo 2015), so I felt that ending the piece in such a strong, brutal way was an effective means to reflect the ultimate danger of binge drinking; the compromising of your own life, or those of others. The overall aim of this piece is to make young people consider their stopping point and realise the importance of safe alcohol consumption.

 

References

Benjamin & Leonardo: Criminal Defence Lawyers, “Drink Driving Facts and Statistics”, Benjamin & Leonardo: Criminal Defence Lawyers,accessed 4th June 2017, http://www.thedefenders.com.au/articles/drink-driving-statistics/

Drinkaware 2016, “Binge Drinking”, Drinkaware, accessed 4th June 2017, https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/drinking-habits-and-behaviours/binge-drinking/

Drug Free World 2017, “What is Binge Drinking?”, Foundation for a Drug Free World, accessed 4th June 2017,http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/alcohol/what-is-binge-drinking.html

Santow, S 2014, “15 Australians die each day from alcohol-related illnesses, consumption of wine on the increase: study”, ABC News, accessed 5thJune 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-31/15-australians-die-each-day-from-alcohol-related-illness:-study/5637050

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