The Social Dilemma Netflix Film Review: The documentary takes a closer look at an unspoken addiction
What is the story about?
A lot of us enjoy tweeting and sharing photos, videos on our social media accounts. But are we getting addicted to social media and what are the consequences of this addiction? As digital platforms have proven to be an integral part of our lives and help us stay connected and in touch with the 'real world', Silicon Valley insiders reveal how social media is programmed to ensure people get addicted to their products (social media platforms).
The Social Dilemma” is a documentary that would resonate with every human on the planet. The documentary targets the social media users who think they understand the internet so well that they cannot be taken advantage of. That would mean the zoomers and millennials who have become social media junkies. The documentary is a wake-up for how social media has been created to affect not just people’s information but their behaviours, and it backs up these larger claims by interviewing people who were instrumental behind the building up of these social media businesses. Many of these interviewees are designers, engineers, executives who talk about their products as if they have invented a Frankesteinish monster. Throughout Jeff Orlowski’s documentary, numerous convincing and clear cases are presented as to how different companies have intentionally made social media addictive and take data from humans in exchange of giving them a free account and a platform to voice their opinion. The documentary talks about what happens on the other side of the screen.
The Social Dilemma doesn't have anything to offer that we don't know already. We know our data is being compromised, we know the social media players in the markets are hand-in-gloves with policymakers and big corporations. It somehow comes across as myopic and their views on mental health, morals and ethics are too weak to make an impact. It honestly, seemed like an episode of Black Mirror, which itself had presented an episode on the horrors of social media set in a dystopian future.
Did I enjoy it?
The premise is what we have all known for a long time. But this time around, it is the insiders who talk about social media addiction. It is interesting if you think from a perspective of someone who isn't using social media platforms a lot. But in the end, as we know how our work depends revolves around it, we have to stay 'online'.
Do I recommend it?
Keep aside your political and personal biases and watch it with a clean slate. Some of the points raised by ex-social media employees in Silicon Valley are quite valid.