The Social Dilemma Review


Photo by Alyssa Green

Alyssa Green, Staff Writer

What is the Social Dilemma? The recent Netflix Original Film illustrates and dives deep down into the pros and cons of Social Media and its effects on our society today. 

It’s common that most people are connected, entertained, and intrigued by some form of social media. Whether it’s Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all of these applications have one thing in common, and that is the ability to pull people in and create a type of lifestyle rather than a trend.

The beginning of the invention of modern technology was the start of new discoveries, innovative learning strategies, and creating easier and faster ways to retain information. However, as the evolution of technology has progressed, the human race has been affected dramatically. Fake news has been statistically shown to spread faster than real news, concluding that the information we rely so heavily on, is now being “educated” to minds that assume the information they are learning is true.

 Mental health has been one of the largest categories that Social Media has taken control of. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc. are all results from different approaches of social media. When using social media without realizing, we scroll for hours, looking at other people just like us, happy, healthy and thriving. But are they really all of those things through a picture? No matter if people know the truth behind a photograph, it still intrigues us to want to be a certain way. This perceived sense of perfection is something that most people crave and we feel we are valued when we receive likes, thumbs up, and comments. We take these significantly small moments and define them as appreciation towards ourselves, which shouldn’t even be existing thoughts. We shouldn’t feel approved from a comment on a photograph.

“It’s not just that it’s controlling where they spend their attention. Social media starts to dig deeper down into the brain stem and take over kids’ sense of self worth and identity. We evolved to care about whether other people in our life think well of us or not ‘cause it matters. But were we evolved to be aware of what 10,000 people think of us? We were not evolved to have social approval being dosed to us every five minutes. That is not at all what we were built to experience,” Tristan Harris from the “Social Dilemma” said.

Harris, a former Google Design Ethicist worked on the framework for how technology steers the thoughts and action of billions of people from screens, and now works to reverse human downgrading to bring back humanity. At his job at Google, he noticed the strategies and problems that companies like Google, as well as other technology companies were doing to attract more viewers, and intrigue the population to come back and be interested in their sites. These jobs acted more as a competition between companies. New filters, structure, color scheme, and so much more were things that persuaded people to keep clicking on their sites. 

Overall this documentary makes people think about what they are consuming through their screens, instead of clicking through so intensively. Constantly being on a screen can really drain teenagers and adults mental health. Could being on your phone be the thing that is holding you back from being happy? People now think about how they have been affected by social media. What do you think? Is this a Social Dilemma?