Yeah! You have guessed right. I have chosen the title because of the recent documentary I watched on Netflix.
It explicitly describes how “social media” (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) has control over our lives.
The talk of social media addiction has been around for long. Now we know because of recent studies that more screen time directly affects our health. The Magnitude of this has always been great because the constant comparison is happening on the social media. Teenage brain has been occupied b new trends. The picture their friend uploaded last night having fun simply shows that their friend is having more fun than them. That has always been the problem of the Social Media.
The social dilemma hits on the different aspect of the social media. Specifically talks about our privacy and data. The Facebook posts you like, even the ones you stare at they know the exact time you stayed at a post, which is terrifying how much they know about us. The film depicts that we are basically controlled by the algorithms of these websites. The friend you mentioned in a post, that page you like, that model you follow on Instagram. All of this is taken as a collected form of data and you are suggested content that matches with previous content you consumed.
Similarly it was shocking to learn that the posts others see in your vicinity (location) are also suggested to you. This leads us to think that we are being totally controlled by this loop of content. Once one loop ends, the other one starts.
There is also another side which should not be out looked. We are consuming this content for free and we are naïve enough to think that it is free in this capitalistic world.
The content we see on these platforms is free, because we are the products. This means that our attention is the fee we pay for the voracious content and revenue is generated in terms of “ads” we see. The reason seems to obey this logic. This is not me shooting words like arrows in blunt air; this has been verified by the employees of these companies which held top posts. They were not ethically satisfied with their jobs and left their top paying jobs because of above mentioned reasons.
Now coming to the solution of these problems,
1-Reduce Screen Time:
First of all monitor your screen time and reduce it as much as possible. There are various apps available on Apple and Google play store. The apps will monitor your screen time and help you to rediscover the joys of real world instead of mindlessly scrolling on the social media
2-Protect Your Privacy:
Next time think a second before liking, sharing or commenting on a post. I am not saying to be extremely cautious but just reflect about that decision. You will learn about your pattern of consuming social media.
3-Verify Every News:
A research on twitter showed that fake news spreads much faster than the honest news. This shows that our mind accepts false news easily. So basically verify a post before sharing because misinformation can ruin someone’s life.
Now concluding with my favorite quote
“We are the product. Our attention is the product being sold to advertisers.”(The Social Dilemma 2020)