Ali Gordon

The Social Dilemma is highlighting the issue, not solving it.

“What is interesting is the power and the impact of social media…so we must try to use social media in a good way” – Malala Yousafzai

I recently watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix. Whilst expecting to be blown away given the hype and talk of its importance as a once in a generation documentary, I found I was sadly underwhelmed.

Given that this industry sits close to my heart, I was hoping to see some insight as to the solutions to the problems rather than just the highlighting of them. I felt the whole thing was just highlighting issues now and hypothetical issues in the future. This is not a bad thing it just felt more like something we all already know…or at least most of us, but maybe I have that wrong in which case I can understand its importance more to that end.

We know we are the product and we know our data is harvested, we know this can be and has been used in unethical ways. What I think I found so disheartening was stories of high level individuals at the big tech companies flagging these issues and expecting for someone to change something…surely it should be them pushing the change not just highlighting it.

I also recently read that the footage of a TikTok post pushing coronavirus as a conspiracy was misused in the documentary and was in fact created as a sarcastic post. This compounds the idea that fake news extends well outside of Social Media too.

Throughout watching The Social Dilemma I kept thinking the same thing I have thought for a while when it comes to what the solution is to the wide ranging issues it creates as an industry…personal responsibility. Quite simply, it’s on us. Like with diet and exercise we need balance and we need to be honest about where we need to make changes, then make them. We have a responsibility to ourselves and what we post and how we react.

My concern with this documentary is that that society is becoming a society that highlights problems rather than looks to solve them. Raising awareness is more important for people’s profile than it is to try and do something. I have a feeling that things will move in the direction of action sooner rather than later.

Let me know your thoughts.

Stay safe

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