Technology: Connecting or Controlling?

A review of “The Social Dilemma”

Sophie Lara, Staff Reporter

Social media and the Internet can be viewed as profoundly useful innovations. They connect, teach and provide us with global perspectives. But there are two sides to every sword. The opposite of social media and technology is dangerous and can be filled with misinformation, ultimately creating unhealthy habits. 

“The Social Dilemma”, a documentary that aired on Netflix in January 2020, is a masterpiece that addresses why we need to escape social media and technology throughout the day. 

Have you ever wondered why you can’t see the photo you were tagged in attached to the notification? This is one of the sneaky ways programmers have ensured that users spend more time on their apps.  

Each form of social media, such as Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, has an AI program that tracks everything you do on the platform. This personal data informs developers on ways to  make you continually use the platform. 

And when I say that AI tracks everything, I mean everything. 

The AI collects data on measures such as at what time you start viewing the app or website and even how long you look at a post. They use this to get a better understanding of what users would want to see on their feed so that they can keep you  coming back for more. This is why when people call social media a drug, they’re not exaggerating. 

This documentary can be an illuminating resource for those who find the effects of social media and the Internet damaging to their habits and behaviors. If you would like to see the documentary for further details, it is currently available on Netflix.