The Social Dilemma was released on Netflix on September 9, 2020, a documentary in which 'Tech experts sound the alarm on the dangerous human impact of social networking.'
It contains interviews of actual insiders who have worked in the headquarters of networks such as Facebook, Google, and Pinterest, who offer an honest perspective about the issue and present beliefs that challenge the values of these businesses. With these, we also follow the stories of relatable teenagers, played by actors, who portray addiction to social media in today's society.
Social media starts to dig deeper and deeper down into the brain stem and take over kids' sense of self-worth and identity.
Here are 5 reasons (not in order) that I hope will encourage you to watch this whenever you have an hour and a half spare, and convince your friends and family to do the same. I honestly think that having seen this, I have become so much more aware of how social media affects the society we live in and have begun to question my own personal use. This documentary will not automatically save you from its impacts, but it will certainly give you the insight and the motive to change your online habits and open your eyes to the power of technology.
1) It Tackles The Worrying Impact On Mental Health
Studies have shown the direct correlation between the increase in depression in teenagers and the increase in the use of mobile phones. Statistics can shock us, but what can truly horrify us into wanting to make a difference is actually seeing how social media is affecting teens.
The Social Dilemma portrays this in a compelling way, that allows us to empathize and connect with the actors that represent us, or at least one person in our lives. The addictive nature of our phones is also a major concern and is presented in a way that makes you consider whether you really want social media to control your life, instead of being able to control it yourself.
2) It Gives Viewers Advice On How To Tackle Addiction To The Internet
There are only two industries that call their customers 'users': illegal drugs and software.
Breaking bad habits can be tough, but when everyone around you seems to be addicted to the same thing you are, it becomes even more challenging to admit that there is a problem and that you want to take control. Although this documentary can be quite daunting, the optimistic note it ends on, with tips on how to dominate your use of your phone, is so inspiring. It gives you the motivation to want to find out more about how you can break the draining cycle.
3) It Tackles Current Global Issues That Social Media May Have Warped
Have you ever wondered about how much of our independence of thought is taken away from us by social media?
Think about views that have been imposed on us about the Covid19 pandemic or climate change, and the detrimental amounts of fake news invading our screens constantly. Sometimes it's easy to believe anything we see, yet it can be impossible to figure out what is real and what isn't.
By choosing who we follow, which notifications capture our attention, and what sites we visit, we become more in control of how we educate ourselves, and then consequently how we react to world news. In the documentary, it was shocking to see how much democracy has been corrupted by social media and how influenced large groups of people have become from apps such as Facebook and Twitter.
Are we even free to choose what we believe anymore? Are we free to express what we believe?
Self-awareness is key. The human mind is complex, yet liberating, and what we think saves us from becoming robots. The Social Dilemma could be your first insight into how you could change the way social media distorts your own perception of the biggest, most important social issues we face today.
The Importance Of Humane Technology:
The Social Dilemma features the co-founders of the Center for Humane Technology who introduce the notion that:
As long as social media companies profit from outrage, confusion, addiction, and depression, our well-being and democracy will continue to be at risk.
This movement is such a crucial part of the documentary because it inspires hope for a brighter future in technology. While it addresses a worldwide issue with refreshing integrity, it provides us with a realistic solution, one that changes social media for a greater good. I love that it proposes a path forward that doesn't sacrifice our humanity.
That sounds crazy, right? Humane technology reminds us of what should be a given in technological advancements: we, the people that use these powerful objects, are the priority.
4) It Emphasizes How We Are Products Of The Internet
The Social Dilemma is almost brutal, but necessary, in the way it explains why the internet simply doesn't care about us as individuals.
The insiders of social media companies that feature in the documentary provide us with truthful insights, giving us a perspective we can trust. It's so important to be aware of how social media works behind the scenes, how it works to control us in the way it's designed. By seeing its lack of interest in who we are and our personal reactions to its harm, we see how we must take control for ourselves. After all, we're not as powerless as we currently seem.
5) It Could Inspire You To Influence Social Change
One positive aspect of the power of social media is being able to express yourself freely and have your opinions matter, no matter who you are.
It is amazing to think about how much we could change in our society if we utilized it to spread awareness instead of negativity. Think about the rise in the Black Lives Matter movement, and how petitions being shared worldwide has managed to create justice for so many. The fight against racism has led to people's better understanding, and by educating each other we are starting to become stronger and more inclusive as a community.
Social media has helped so much with giving a voice to those who need to be heard. But the fight doesn't stop now, and it can help us so much more.
It is easy to watch The Social Dilemma and become terrified by how influential social media is, but if you see it from a more optimistic perspective, you can see how beneficial it could be. If everyone learned the value of spreading love and peace and actively challenge hostility, then the world could be beautiful.
Choose Determination Over Passivity
Learn to be bored. You will learn and grow from your boredom.