Thoughts on Netflix Documentary: The social Dilemma

Social Dilemma Official Trailer

Aren’t we all addicted to our phones ?  and more specifically social media. It has tremendously changed our lifestyle, relationships, and possibilities. We may think that social media is a blessing. Facebook helps us maintain our social relationships, Instagram is a window of unlimited content, and Tiktok is the best place for entertainment. However, after watching the Social Dilemma on Netflix, we might reconsider what we think about these networks. We should look at them from a different perspective. 

This 90 minutes documentary is about a random American family and the different relationships in the household. It “examines the various ways social media and social networking companies have manipulated human psychology. Their aim is to rewire the human brain and what it means for society in general” (cinemablend). Throughout the film, the family portrayed is slowly torn apart because of the degradation of interactions between the family members.

In other words, this documentary gives a complete and straightforward list of the dangers of these platforms. It shows us what their purpose is really about. Through various interviews with tech specialists from the top companies in Silicon Valley including Google, Facebook…, we can summarize these dangers in a few important points.

Manipulation and attention span

Tech specialists explained how social media platforms are designed. They make us want more and hooks us up. In fact, simple features like “like button” or “scroll” options are designed exclusively to manipulate our attention span. The more we spend time on these platforms the more these companies gain more data. Consequently, they can exploit and sell to the highest bidder. It is all about business.

The favorite Targets

The documentary stressed how teenagers are the first target of social media. Because of their vulnerability, they could get easily addicted. As a result, they would run their entire life around validation and acceptance through their daily interactions on the platforms. A big part of the film focused on the alarming increase of suicide and depression within this population. All are caused directly by social media. 

Is it even ethical ?

Throughout the whole film, one could only ask how are these platforms not regulated. The urge of stopping all activity on these platforms will probably come to any viewer.

However, the shock and astonishment would probably be stronger. This documentary was able to raise one of the biggest problems of social media: control!

It is enough to see that recently Trump was banned from Twitter for inciting violence. How could higher instances get to this point? Why there were no actions taken in advance? These apps have proven to be far from ethical. The only way to make it stop is to take a stand and ask for changes.

The Social Dilemma is hard to watch, but necessary too. According to the New York Times, it “is remarkably effective in sounding the alarm about the incursion of data mining and manipulative technology into our social lives and beyond”. The documentary is eye-opening. People should watch it to gain more knowledge about their daily use of social media. It even raised awareness on a subject we know nothing about even though we are entirely devoted to it. Social Media needs to become a safer place.