You Shall Optimize Yourself!

A Documentary by Reinhild Dettmer-Finke
57 min.

“Self-optimization” technology is booming: there’s a huge industry beckoning with a constant flow of new apps for measuring the body or products for improving brain performance.

But when it comes to self-improvement, there is a thin line between desire and obsession. The attraction as well as the pressure to use these self-optimization methods is increasing. The creation of “perfect people” seems to be the great project of our time.

Where is the border between technologies and interventions for self-optimization – ones that truly improve the individual quality of life and happiness – and those that only comply to a social ideology of permanent performance enhancement in which improvement becomes a compulsion? Is continual self-optimization an opportunity, or is it already a demand? What image of humanity does this concept of optimization base itself upon? And what, in the end, does the individual person gain from it?

These are the questions pursued by this investigative documentary, which explores the forms of self-optimization already practiced as well as the ideas currently being developed for the immediate future.

The documentary points no fingers but, instead, aims to also illuminate the dark sides of the supposedly promising trend.

Genre

  • Documentary

Author

  • Reinhild Dettmer-Finke

Producer

  • Anahita Nazemi

Broadcaster

  • ZDF/ARTE, SRF

Running Time

    • 57 Minutes
      • Year of Production

        • 2017