The Social Dilemma

Student of Canyon Vista share their thoughts on the new social media documentary, The Social Dilemma.

The Social Dilemma

The Social Dilemma is a Netflix documentary (2020) about the dangers of social media. Everyone has probably heard about the problems with social media, but this movie isn’t your average documentary. It dives in deep to explain how the major tech companies are manipulating you and making your technology addictive. Tech companies create specific algorithms that program your subconscious mind into changing the way you think. Former presidents and executives of tech companies were interviewed including the former president of Pinterest, the co-founder of the Facebook LIKE button, a former Google design ethicist, and many more.

Talia Philips (8) said, “This was an eyeopener of a documentary, surely to get the attention of the very media giants exposed in the film. Tremendous work is done by the director & creator along with Netflix. They actually exposed the unseen truth of people who are programming our thoughts, our entire thinking and our personality to become what they want us to be. Hats off to the creators of this documentary for selecting such a relevant issue where humanity itself is trying to survive in the chaos created by social media.”

One focus of the movie is that every action every and click you make is being tracked. Data is being collected and stored based on how you respond to videos and how much time you are spending on social media. Then, engineers create a unique model of you to predict your next interest, or your next click.  Your data is being sold to every company possible without your knowledge, or consent.

8th grader Prisha Goyal voiced her concern, “I didn’t know that the companies could track everything we did. It made me slightly uncomfortable, that I was just being used, in way, so that companies make more money.”

Manipulation for is very common nowadays. Tristan Harris, design ethicist at Google explained that there are whole teams of engineers who work to manipulate your psychology against you. The rush of excitement over a potential win while playing the Las Vegas slot machines, creates a similar anticipation of refreshing your social media page to get new content.

Sanya Marian (6) said, “It has [changed my view on social media] but I am not going to willingly get rid of it. Talking to people around the world is possible with these apps and I have limited myself but not fully.

Throughout the movie, there is a regular family that experienced the harmful impact of social media. It focused on parts of their lives where their addiction to social media became like an illness. The teens didn’t notice how it was affecting them, but their older sister shone light on their problem.

Madeleine Ziegler (6), enjoyed the movie and format. “I thought [the movie] was very eye opening, and it surprised me on how much the internet actually controls our lives. The movie was put together beautifully, and I loved how they put an example throughout the movie showing a boy get his life ruined through the effects of social media.”

Madeleine enjoyed the movie so much, she wants to share it with everyone: “I would definitely recommend this movie everyone I know and I have already gotten my friends to watch it as well. I had to force my teenage sister to watch it, but once she did she was more aware of all the traps on her social media, and phone.”

Every person that was interviewed recommended that you watch The Social Dilemma. This is the documentary to watch in quarantine. Grab a bowl of popcorn and start The Social Dilemma. Available on Netflix!