I have now watched the aforementioned documentary three times and each time I come up new insights. I am amazed that this hasn’t received much more recognition. It is not trending in the Top 10 nor have I seen others mention it at work or on social media platforms. I only became aware of this when a friend recommended it to me. Within the first two minutes, I was intrigued and “hooked”.
A takeaway for me was the suggestion to turn off notifications from your apps. Personally, I do not turn on notifications as they cause me anxiety. And while this may be the case for most of us, I am aware of my triggers and therefore have to learn how to manage them. That it, the numerical indication at the upper right of an app often makes me feel as if I have an action that I must attend. I already live by a To-Do list so I cannot run after other apps that call for my immediate attention.
The Social Dilemma furthered mention how Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a purpose to predict and adapt to our behaviors. Actually, it does that job so well that we are unaware how we are easily manipulated. The tech guru mentioned that what was once created to be for good has somewhat turned into a social dilemma and now in which they have no idea how to fix or control it.
In fact so much so that these creators and curators do not allow their own children to indulge in the technology that they create. Most in Silicon Valley even go to extreme lengths to put their children in tech-free schools. Going through a tech detox is now considered a necessity as to ensure that we are not allowing technology to control our lives. One contributor also mentioned that if you are not buying a product, you ARE the product. This is the matter in which the paid advertisers are going through to put their content in our stream and ensure that we oblige.
Technology per se is not controlling our lives but it should serve as an aid to our live.; to make out lives easier. Not to make us dependent on it completely. Yet our children are being raised with a screen and parenting is taking a backseat. And let me be clear, parents can also depend on technology to assist with teaching our children but everything should be done in balance and moderation. If we are finding that anyone prefers to engage with a device over human interaction, that is a major problem. And yes, I may have a one-sided view because I am an extrovert and actually love interacting with humans and animals but technology cannot be used to give introverts an excuse to continue to isolate themselves from society.
The other matter that was mentioned in the documentary revolve around how Facebook particularly led users down rabbit holes based upon things that will keep them engaged and therefore glued or addicted to the social platform. With that in mind, it also means that they are not suggesting any user, group or video if it would be in opposition to anything we may like. This is probably the most alarming piece that I gathered from watching this device. While I am not a Facebook user, it is frightening that people are not wanting to be exposed to opposing view points from their own.
Yet, the 2020 election has taught me this in real time. I have friends that have stopped talking to classmates, defriend on Facebook, or ended romantic relationships including marriages because the other supported a particular candidate. Of all my qualifications in a life partner, I never thought to include political affiliation as one. I tend not to understand how or why we cannot have people in our circles that think different from ourselves. Have we become so self-absorbed that we really think our way is the only way? Is this what the social platforms have come to?
I am eager to know your thoughts. What did you take away from The Social Dilemma? Please share how your online behavior changed after watching the documentary.