American filmmaker Jeff Orlowski, who produced the Emmy Award-winning documentary Chasing Ice (2012) and Chasing Coral (2017), has another thought-provoking documentary to date.
Premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and Netflix on September 9, “The Social Dilemma” explores how social media, which was initially aimed to connect people, has neurotically screwed up society instead.
Social media, being dopamine-driven, addictive, and intrusively creepy, is not news to netizens using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, among others.
The Social Dilemma, however, gathered several tech experts who had worked under the companies that made them explained how social media platforms are an embodiment of something that cannot be undone in a haunting detail — that is why it’s worth spending time watching the documentary.
For example, tech experts explained how advertisements were algorithmically coded to be more enticing for users to check out a brand, a company, or a product. You would be influenced to be craving for some chicken wings in FoodPanda because these personalized ads put it up on your screen.
At the expense of these ads that markets to you what you have been checking on your Google search browser every day, these social media platforms are free to use.
“If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.”
Another is how these social media platforms are also used to generate more victims towards online scams, gather a community of pedophiles, or for terrorist groups to recruit more individuals in their commune.
In a nutshell, without spoiling all the details, we can take heed on the lesson that these life-changing tweaks that made social media networks famous affected several users in such a subliminal way.
The one-million-dollar-question remains is how to right these specific changes before it gets even worse.