You must have seen this film already but this article is for people who are still considering to skip The Social Dilemma. Trending on the first position on Netflix, The Social Dilemma starts with a quote by Sophocles “Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse. ” And this sums up the entire purpose of this documentary. The new Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma by Jeff Orlowski explains how social media has made communication easy but it also has a price . From data collectors invading our privacy for the benefit of advertisers to a country like Russia controlling the election of another country through Facebook, this documentary touches and explains everything bad that came with the rapid development of social media.
The designers, engineers, and executives who invented social media, and then quit when they began to understand the existential threat it posed to all civilization. The guy who invented the “like” button. An ex-department head at Instagram. Even one of the techies responsible for Gmail and Google Drive. The guy who co-founded Pinterest . Everyone starts explaining how we let social media disrupt our mental health unknowingly. Towards the third act , one of engineers said” social media came as a tool to ease up communication but have you ever encountered a tool that literally begs your attention? “
“ If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.” One-liners like these are used by everyone that comes up for a testimony. But, what really makes the film better is its drama. Orlowski knows that testimonies aren’t enough so he creates a tale of an average, middle-class American family in order to more practically illustrate the effect that social media has on our lives. And with this , Orlowski proves how this addiction towards social media isn’t just a side-effect but rather a great business model for all the big companies. He doesn’t stop there he even includes real-life incidents as to how social media triggered mob-lynching in India and a series of violent events on Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar so that people realise that the problems aren’t limited to teenagers or adults having mental health issues, this advanced technology has wider consequences and can even trigger mass destruction or a civil war.
The Social Dilemma is remarkably effective in alarming about the of the hidden facts of data mining and manipulative technology into our social lives. Even after criticising the algorithm the film can’t help itself to become another tool of algorithm for Netflix. What an irony!