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Episode #105: Craig's List

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

"Craig’s List" video short, by Jirsa and Stoltz. You are Never Alone.

Blog post written by Matt Jirsa.

Video written, directed, and edited by Matt Jirsa & Ethan Stoltz.

Do you feel as though you are always being watched or that your fate is pre-determined? If you ever feel this way, you’re definitely not alone! Billions of people across the globe are now connected by the simple click of a button. The majority of people now spend more time on social media and online platforms than they do having face to face interaction - even further exacerbated in the age of COVID-19. Craig’s List is a surrealist critique of the digi-ciety that we live in and how it breaks down our individualism and subconsciously guides our actions.

If you have time to sit on your coach and watch Netflix - which let’s be honest, all of us do right now - You should check out The Social Dilemma, a documentary that puts better words to the message we tried to convey in this short. The documentary describes the dangerous impact that tech and social media has on the human psyche.

As someone who is an aggressive mental health advocate, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with social media and the web. My first foray into social media was Instagram my sophomore year of high school. Its original appeal was that I could express myself and my personality to my peers in a digital way.

Boy was I wrong.

Little did I know that my quest to be an individual was influenced more often than not by a desire to fit in. I wanted to be accepted by others, to have friends throughout all walks of life and buy the products advertised to me. I wanted to exist outside of social hierarchy but at the same time be linked to it - to play to social game.

I went so far as to one point shave my head in front of my whole high school to prove this point. It was a cry to say, “hey I’m absolutely LMFAO GET CRAZY” but at the same time would love to be seen and known. This is what the digital age had shown me was a priority and I bought into it with no reserve.

In a nutshell, this is the core tenant of social media and internet connectivity: to be appreciated, seen in your perfect self, and be connected to others. I highly recommend watching the social media satire, Spree starring Joe Kerry. Kerry stars as Kurt Kunkle, a ride share driver who is driven mad by the need to be seen online. It’s a harsh critique of how social media and influencer culture has completely taken over our lives. Kurt Kunkle will do anything to get noticed, including a murder Spree of his ride share passengers.

Craig’s List represents the internet and social media’s overarching and unseen control over our lives.

Craig (Ethan Stoltz) has the ability to control/predict everything my character (Matt Jirsa) does throughout the day, checking it all off his “list” as he goes. It is as if I have no free will or self-determination. Although despite my character having no true control, he continues to live in gleeful bliss and ignorance of the digital age. It’s a goofy and exaggerated example of how the internet and social media control our lives.

If you would like to view how Google has determined who you are, what you like, and how you spend your time, check out this article . It breaks down how Google tracks everything you do and how to stop it (or at least some of it). We do have some power over our relationship with the internet, it just takes self-reflection and a little digging to figure out what you need to achieve a little piece of mind.

Unfortunately for my character in Craig’s List, I never had my own autonomy or understanding of how the internet interacts with my life. I personally fell into the trap of sharing my projection of a “perfect life” on social media. We are not the sum of our filtered post and cheesy captions on Instagram. I think the most important thing for all of us to do is to make sure we do what makes us happy, not what social media and internet expects of us.

- Written by Matt Jirsa.

c/o Ethan Stoltz.

Ethan' and Matt's Gratitudes: Thanks all for reading and watching, thanks Laura for the inspiration, and shout out Ethan’s mom for marrying a bird.


EPT is the creative outlet of close high school friends Ethan Stoltz, Will Rundquist, Sam Schooler, Jack Campbell, Logan Ramlet, and Matt Jirsa with appearances by Nick Larson and Sam Benkowski.

Meeting through school sports, the boys thought it would be hilarious to pretend as though they’d founded a school-affiliated club based on the Parkour/Free Running trend (featured in Season 6; Episode 1 of The Office)

This led to the production of fake club tee shirts and eventually spoof videos/music on their YouTube and Spotify channels naturally under the moniker; Edina Parkour Team (EPT).


Laura had a crush on every EPT member in high school.

Laura learns how to Craig

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