The Social Dilemma


A new and ironically trending documentary “The Social Dilemma” has recently debuted on Netflix; the show focuses on the ways social media companies have manipulated our minds to buy into the damaging, negative, and twisted ways of society. 


Unlike most technology documentaries, in which the sole focus is how social media platforms are harmful for the users mental health, director Jeff Orlowski offers the why behind their claim. 


According to Orloweski, the main goal of media companies is to keep users constantly engaged, predicting their actions and personalizing data to keep them consumed. 


Orloweski interviewed developers of platforms, such as Google, Gmail, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, and the creators of the ‘like’ button and of virtual reality.


“It’s the gradual, slight, imperceptible change in your own behavior and perception that is the product,” said Jaron Lainer, one of the many founders of virtual reality. 


“We’ve created a world in which online connection has become primary. Especially for younger generations. And yet, in that world, anytime two people connect, the only way it’s financed is through a sneaky third person who’s paying to manipulate those two people. So we’ve created an entire global generation of people who were raised within a context with the very meaning of communication, the very meaning of culture, is manipulation,” Lainer elaborated. 


The creator of the ‘like’ button, Justin Rosenstein, plays a big role in the film. He describes the purpose of his creation was to spread love and positivity. Despite these intentions, the negative outcome that snowballed in youth culture was beyond anything he could have imagined. 


“The idea that fast forward to today and teens would be getting depressed when they don’t have enough likes or it could be leading to political polarization was nowhere on our radar,” Rosenstein stated. 


In this shocking and heart wrenching documentary, “The Social Dilemma” highlights why the current generation should be aware of the human impact of social media platforms and how to stay alert in a technological focused society.