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The Social Dilemma

Posted: 23:09 21 Sep 2020
by MickyD
A Netflix documentary that I watched today.

Having railed for years against the intrinsic evils (in the broad sense of the term) underlying social media - especially in trying to warn my two children - and having read quite a lot about the subject, the film told me little that I didn't personally already know; but I would recommend that anyone with a social media account watch it if possible, Everybody should understand this stuff but depressingly few do, or even care to find out.

Climate change is well on the way to destroying the physical environment with which we've grown so comfortable and complacent; but social media-driven psychological and societal change is destroying our "psychic" environment immeasurably more rapidly.

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Re: The Social Dilemma

Posted: 14:35 27 Sep 2020
by PL2 3DQ
I started to watch it and it was interesting to see how these tech companies draw their users into using even more of their products.
The documentary quickly became repetitive with former CEO's or suchlike from Facebook/Twitter/Microsoft etc whistleblowing on their ex-employers, all saying the same things. Why didn't they speak out before? At that point I skimmed through it.

Overall the programme just highlighted what we already knew - we and the tech companies need each other.

Re: The Social Dilemma

Posted: 15:10 27 Sep 2020
by MickyD
PL2 3DQ wrote: I started to watch it and it was interesting to see how these tech companies draw their users into using even more of their products.
The documentary quickly became repetitive with former CEO's or suchlike from Facebook/Twitter/Microsoft etc whistleblowing on their ex-employers, all saying the same things. Why didn't they speak out before? At that point I skimmed through it.

Overall the programme just highlighted what we already knew - we and the tech companies need each other.

Tech companies can improve our lives greatly - but nobody "needs" social media. That's the point: people have become massively addicted, with exactly the same brain chemistry mechanisms in play as in hard drug users (dopamine hits that require ever greater stimulation) - the difference being that all the drug dealers in history combined have never managed to destroy a fraction of what social media has of the human psyche, and society, in just a few short years.

As to why people hadn't spoken out earlier - well, many had (including psychologists, who also featured), but as usual it tends to take something like a documentary for these things to stand any chance of reaching a wider audience.

I found the intercut "drama" segments a little heavy-handed, but they made their point about how social media addiction, and its many potential rabbit holes, can affect different members of an "average" family.

Re: The Social Dilemma

Posted: 13:33 15 Oct 2020
by Biggs
That Tristan Harris bloke is very impressive, can see him moving into politics successfully. I think he was one of the people that DID speak out at the time.

It's the business model that is the scary bit, these platforms literally need us to be outraged to keep making the same levels of profit. Whether that leads to people joining conspiracy groups or clicking on fake news, their algorithms don't give a damn and now it's a snowball that they can't stop.

Did enjoy the doc, though the dramatised bits were a tad silly and unnecessary.