The Social Dilemma is a 2020 American docudrama directed by Jeff Orlowski. Social media is designed to promote addiction, change opinions, emotions and behaviors, and spread conspiracy theories and misinformation. The video also examines the impact of social media on mental health (including teen mental health and rising teen suicide rates).
A number of leading internet companies and social media platforms including Facebook, Google, Twitter and Mozilla are interviewed in the video. These interviewees explore how these platforms have harmful social, political and cultural effects. Some respondents claim that social media and big tech companies have benefited society. Interviewees explore the role of social media in polarization and the impact of algorithmic advertising on political radicalization. In recent years, social media platforms have contributed to the spread of fake news. In addition to the interviews, there is a fictional social media recreation of a teenager. These dramatizations highlight the growing problem of online radicalization of young people.
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Summary of the social dilemma:
The film delves into the psychological underpinnings and manipulation tactics that the film claims are used by social media companies to enslave their users. According to respondents, this frequently results in greater sadness as well as higher suicide rates among adolescents and young adults.
This is represented in Orlowski’s dramatization through the employment of a cast of actors. Teenage Ben (played by Skyler Gisondo) gradually falls prey to these deceptive methods and finds himself entangled in an escalating social media compulsion.
In this episode, the perils of artificial intelligence and fake news are discussed. As Tristan Harris points out, this is an example of a “for-profit misinformation business model” and that companies earn more by enabling “unregulated communications to reach everyone at the best price”. In this context, Wikipedia is described as a neutral environment that provides all users with the same information without personalizing or monetizing it.
“Something has to change,” respondents said regarding the involvement of artificial intelligence in social media and the effect these platforms have on society.
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Review: The Social Dilemma
Netflix has a documentary called The Social Dilemma which shows how social media and personalized online services have developed. They have a lot of power over each of us, but they also do a lot of harm to society. It’s very scary because it shows us both.
Truths are revealed even though the film is a documentary. They are shown through a fictional plot. Ben (Skyler Gisondo) is a teenager enchanted by an algorithm. We follow him in his apprenticeship (Vincent Kartheiser). His self-talk about giving up his phone can make us feel like we’re right there with him. Social media, on the other hand, is slowly drawing him to the “extreme center”. His older sister, Kara Hayward, worries about him.
But the story is not the main thing. The real messengers are Tim Kendall, who was the CEO of Pinterest and worked for Facebook as director of monetization. Justin Rosenheimer, who invented the “Like” button, is also one of them. Personal, as well as frightening, are the personal stories these experts share. They range from the people who helped create Google Drive to the author of “You’re Not a Gadget”.
The fact that major social media and tech companies don’t offer their services for free comes as no surprise to anyone. If you are not paying for the product, then you are also “the product” in this case. In other words, they’re not just going to leak all of your personal information. In a video, the people who make the platforms say that they don’t really want to know more about you, but that they want to change you. Goals are the little changes that happen inside of you that make you more likely to keep scrolling or buying something. It means “We want you to mentally understand how we can get you to do what we want.”
There are a lot of scary things, but the scariest thing isn’t just the facts. People who created Facebook, Google and other things are scared. Some of them have since left their jobs. When even the people who helped build the platforms are worried, how not to be? They know the platforms and their purposes better than anyone.
After watching The Social Dilemma, you might feel a little nauseous. It’s not really fear, though. Sober: It’s much more important to think about what these massive tools of public manipulation could do to democracy. In our society, there’s been an increase in polarization and the spread of fake news quickly, without us even realizing. account of what was going on. Worry about the power of a few powerful people. They don’t vote for them.
It’s no surprise to Jeff Orloski that non-fiction can be dramatic. In 2014 he won an award for his film Chasing Ice, which showed the terrifying effects of the climate crisis in a visible way. Although he doesn’t seem ready to let the power of facts and storytelling speak for itself in The Social Dilemma, he finally did. If you didn’t want to watch a traditional documentary at all, you could have used music, bass, and fast cuts to change its look. But instead of making things more intense, this forced dramatization made the testimonies less powerful. There’s more power in the fact that a “like” is based on having withdrawal symptoms for the rest of the time than there is in loud music.
This book could have spent more time talking about how to solve the problem. Yes, it got me thinking about how I use social media. How do you feel ? Is this the only thing that makes you happy? Is it possible that these feelings are the result of algorithmic engineering? Finally, I would like to recommend The Social Dilemma to anyone who wants to learn more about their own behavior and challenge it.
There are many reasons why people should delete their social media accounts, but to be honest, that doesn’t seem like enough to give them ten. As long as start-ups and organizations are run on Facebook, it can’t and won’t be a good fit for everyone. The Social Dilemma shows that social media is not just a private thing. We have to think about politics when we talk about it If we live in a democracy, it is up to us to decide how to use these powerful tools.
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Things you should learn from this movie
- Social media platforms are not a tool
We view our social media channels as a way to stay in touch with friends and family. However, this is not the case, according to Tristan Harris. A tool, he argues, is anything quietly waiting to be used.
Consider a hammer in your toolbox. It doesn’t bang on the toolbox lid every two hours demanding to be used, prompting us to use it when we haven’t used it in a while. He sits and waits. It’s about being patient. It’s just a tool.
It’s not a tool, despite what social media would have us believe. It annoys us by regularly sending us notifications and emails. It attracts us and manipulates us. “He has his own goals and his own way of achieving them by exploiting your psychology against you,” Harris writes in “The Social Dilemma.”
Our attention is the product
According to “The Social Dilemma”, many social media companies thrive on garnering as much attention as possible and then selling it to the highest bidder. If you don’t pay for the goods, you are the product, as the saying goes.
So is it a terrible thing?
It may be, according to Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School and author of The Attention Merchants. Tim Wu describes attention merchants as companies that sell access to people’s thoughts, according to a Vox interview. “The attention industry requires individuals who are always distracted, or who are constantly distracted, and therefore susceptible to advertising,” he explains.
In the long term, this, combined with other causes, has resulted in an epidemic of “distraction disease”. You cannot concentrate and continually lose your attention and time in this situation. According to Wu, the outbreak is “the place where you waste hours of the day clicking on meaningless nonsense.”
Have you ever picked up your phone with a certain goal in mind, only to find an hour later that you had spent the whole time reading on various social media sites, completely forgetting why you picked up your phone in the first place? This is exactly what he is referring to.
“Your life experience is what you choose to pay attention to,” Wu quotes American philosopher and psychologist William James in the article. How can we be in control of our lives if corporations capture and manipulate our attention?
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Addiction is built into the design of social media sites
Many social networks, according to “The Social Dilemma,” take advantage of human vulnerability by growing with “positive intermittent reinforcement” in mind.
One of the experts interviewed in the video, Tristan Harris, a former Google design ethicist, compares it to a Vegas slot machine. When we check our phones for notifications, it’s like pressing the lever on a slot machine in hopes of hitting the jackpot.
We have a hard time rejecting our screens because of the “Vegas effect,” according to Mike Brooks, Ph.D., in an article for Psychology Today. We keep checking and checking and checking because we periodically hit the jackpot, so to speak, when we check and there are alerts on our phone.
“It’s like opening a box of chocolates; you never know what you will receive. Who posted a post on Facebook? Who left a comment on my blog? Just one more time, I’m going to check my newsfeed… “This dopamine reward mechanism is activated the minute our iPhones go off or ring,” Brooks explains.
And this has a negative impact on our health.
According to a California State University study, people who visited a social networking site at least 58 times a week were 3 times more likely to feel socially alienated and unhappy.
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The Social Dilemma Trailer