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Review: Social Needia: The Epidemic | Melbourne Fringe Festival

Social Needia's Jordana BorensztajnCarmelene Greco writes …

Jordana Borensztajn’s Social Needia is irrefutably honest, up-to-the minute comedy.

The show is about Jordana’s struggle with social media addiction. The medical theme is scattered throughout the show and is, surprisingly, not overdone. Conditions such as Facebook Status Anxiety Disorder, Narcissistic Profile Disorder and Instagramia Nevy-Osa were all identified.

Jordana’s struggle with her detox from the well-known social media outlets, such as Facebook and Instagram, was amusing and completely relatable. The self-deprecating humour worked because everyone in the audience also laughed at themselves. The audience was diagnosed, via a checklist, for the disorder of ‘Social Needia’. The questions were relevant and hilarious for the many that were knowingly answering ‘yes’ to them all.

Jordana very much personalised the entire experience, which made the show ultra comfortable and relaxed. Each guest was greeted at the door and advised to ‘check in and enjoy’. This was not only subtle (kind of) marketing but it was also an instant crowd pleaser. The constant interaction with the audience throughout the show made it feel less like a performance and more like lounge room banter. In fact the room it was held in was probably the same size, if not smaller than, a lounge room. The informality, while making the crowd receptive, also detracted from the authority of the presenter. But being a Fringe Festival event, this informality was perhaps fitting.

The use of technology was well utilised throughout the show, such as when interesting (and quite alarming) facts about social media were projected onto a screen. These elements added to its overall creativity and impact. Still, the show got sidetracked: it moved away from the social media theme to that of Jordana’s own paranoia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). While self-deprecation was the common thread between them, it wasn’t exactly in the brief and proved to be a lengthy detour. It was, nevertheless, highly entertaining.

While the show’s content was witty and comical, there was a deeper message to be found. It acted as a reminder of the sad reality of our obsession with social media, the fact that moments are missed and time is wasted when we are not engaged in real-life events that Facebook will never be able to capture.

This is Jordana’s first year as a comedian and her first-ever Fringe Festival. What was definitely clear from the show was her love for comedy. It was undeniable that she was having a blast and as an audience member, that is contagious. The show is also definitely more suited to Gen-Yers or people who are into technology; there are endless references to the latest online trends.

The show concluded with the doctor’s orders: go offline for one day a week. It’s advice we could probably all take. If nothing else, the tips on how to ‘pimp your profile’ certainly are.

Social Needia: The Epidemic is playing 19 September to 5 October (selected dates) at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

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