The Social Dilemma

We don’t watch a lot of TV even though I know about all the shows. Our friends suggested we watch the Social Dilemma and so we did. If you want to understand the business models around Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, and other social platforms, I would suggest you take 90-minutes and watch this film.

There is nothing here I didn’t know but regardless it hits you hard in between the eyes. Sure we all enjoy scrolling through our phones taking in gobs of information and photos from our friends and there are some great things about that but the platform regardless of what the developers built it for. The reality is really about how advertising can be targeted to you.

When you build technology platforms that become smarter and smarter over time, it is not easy to turn back the dial. AI takes on a life of its own. Just like any start-up, what you think it will be isn’t always what it ends up becoming. The problem with the social media platform is that it has the ability to target each of us individually even if we were all sitting in one room. That media being targeted at your brain day in and day out skews our thinking and what we believe in. Hence the divide in our country, and the propaganda that bleeds through our communities. Scary shit.

How do we change that? Unclear for sure. Remember it is the younger generations who are all on it more than any of us. But as an optimist, I always believe once we see bad things, we can make changes.

Body shaming and bullying is one of the offshoots of social media. Being 13 and having someone dismiss your new hairdo can be horrifying. I read an article in the NYX on Sunday about a Danish TV Show called Ultra Strip Downs. They bring in teenagers to meet with 5 people in robes that take off their robes and stand there naked and take questions from the kids. They are tattooed, heavy, thin, wrinkly, long hair, shaved heads, and everything that is real. What these kids see online are people who are using filters particularly when it comes to bodies and sex. This show is helping kids realize what we all really look like behind the robe.

So I tie these both together because one is not real and one is. We need more reality these days not more false narratives that are pounded into our head on a daily basis.