In a world where youth unemployment is the norm, a depressed teen looks for alternatives online but is subsumed by a social media hive-mind bent on the destruction of America’s most sacred institution: the mall.
Well, malls in the United States are on the decline with predictions that the worse is yet to come. No conspiracy theory of a “social media-hive mind bent” is required to explain it. It’s another instance of what the economist Joseph Schumpeter called the amoral tendency toward ‘creative destruction’ intrinsic to capitalism, in this case the consequence of newer technological systems subverting older systems of marketing and sales.
However, since the genre for this story is sci-fi, you have the creative liberty to weave a credible alternative explanation.
The central problem that I see with the concept is that the main character is presented as nothing more than a hapless victim rather than a protagonist, a proactive agent of his destiny. First he’s cast as the the victim of a scarcity of employment opportunities, then he is “subsumed” in the hive-mind.
What’s so exciting about being victimized, sucked into the hive-mind? What MUST he do about being “subsumed”? What becomes his objective goal? What are the stakes? Not just for the “sacred institution” of the shopping mall, but for him personally. What does he stand to lose if he fails to achieve his goal? What does he stand to gain if he succeeds?
Agreed with DPG the main story problem doesn’t seem to carry high enough stakes.
Also most youth, that I am aware of, don’t work i.e it’s the norm already. I suppose it depends on the definition of youth in this instance, so perhaps the description should change to a world in which unemployment is the norm regardless of the demographic.
Secondly most teenagers are depressed teens and if not most then many are, fundamentally this is not a good main character description as it is too generic. The logline should explain what it is about this teen that’s unique and subsequently interesting.