A popular Netflix Docufilm, The Social Dilemma is getting huge rounds of attention after it’s release all around the world. The film starts with having professionals of platforms like Google, Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram to explain their contributions to the development of these platforms. Although, It’s quite ironical how the film’s theme talks about the similar algorithm it has used to target the audience to watch the film.
This is all about social media, well the darker side of it to be exact. We have had a lot of information regarding the advantages of social media but this has made us realized that there is another side of the coin which we haven’t looked or focused about much. The bad side, or as the film implies- The MANIPULATIVE one.
After watching it, I was shocked by the facts and figures relating to depression, suicide rates fake news, etc which is only of one country- United States Of America. We certainly have no idea about what the facts and figures would be all around the world. The Professionals seemed to have a hard time explaining in the Film, that they always designed and worked hard for the companies for engagement and to keep us in front of our screens for as long as possible. They can’t provide a single, succinct easy answer to what the actual problem is.
Abandon Social Media? No
Social media isn’t absolute evil, and it isn’t the only technology that is potentially questionable or problematic. It’s a proposal to understanding how we feel, not we are made to feel what we actually want, not what we are made to want. It has represented how social media uses our own psychology against us. A perfect combination of psychology and technology which is being used against humankind itself. How do they use it against us? The answer to this question is that they tend to change our imagination and make us believe what they want us to. The way it is combined with Artificial Intelligence to give us content is not correct. The content we might not want to know, that would not meet the criteria of our goals and needs but we still come across that which someway or other brings changes in our behaviour.
It’s the gradual, slight, imperceptible change in your behaviour and perception that is the product,” says Jaron Lanier, Father of Virtual Reality in the “The Social Dilemma”.
Taking your power back
“The Social Dilemma” calls for control or regulation of social media companies, though it doesn’t detail how this might work. It’s high time we stop questioning ourselves and take our power back by paying ourselves attention and not let A. I decide what we want to see and whatnot. It has made people lose their true identities and they do not know who they actually are. The focus during the film is that people are essentially weak in the face of social media because of zero awareness and this is why the documentary is made for. The social media sometimes can be very demoralizing, dispiriting, disheartening for some viewers. Do people post a picture just for themselves or to please others? Why do small kids use filters and make their lips look bigger and cheeks flattened? as also shown in the film. we have made this unknowingly a definition of beauty and acceptance? A Like button which was created to spread positivity and happiness, today discourages people to depression and anxiety and they question their existence if they don’t get enough of love by the public from SOCIAL MEDIA.
Social media isn’t going anywhere
Social Media is not getting finished, It’s a conspiracy and not a fact. It’s agreeable that these companies make money off advertising, sometimes it turns out to be bad and fake. The idea represented in the documentary is that the tech giants are purposely trying to manipulate us. It shows three men standing in the form of A. I supposedly in a dark room and trying to manipulate a user for profit. Even though the makers of the companies/platforms are blamed. I don’t believe that the people who run the companies are deliberately trying to wreck humanity.
The lesson from the movie is we need to learn how to live with social media, not switch it off considering that will be it. Using the internet to be social with people was someday or the other going to happen. The internet is intended to connect humanity, and too much connection can clearly be addictive. The trick is not to ban or remove things we like, not to always accuse the companies who make them but to find a way to be responsible, disciplined, and to live with them without questioning ourselves and without it letting use and change our mindset. And at the very end of the documentary, the tech professionals give some solutions to all these problems like turning off all notifications, uninstalling social media and news apps, never accepting a recommended video, instead of that choose the video you want to watch, use some google chrome extensions to block recommendations and advertisements and do a fact check, the source of the information before you share anything over social media, make sure you get lots of different information about your own life, keep all your mobile devices out of your room before sleep or keep them in a drawer and if you can, delete your social media accounts.