The Social Dilemma provides insightful and relevant commentary on the danger of unregulated Big Tech

It’s no secret there are dangers to using social media: decline in mental health, spike in addiction, shortened attention spans, et cetera. The Social Dilemma is a Netflix documentary that tackles the dangers of social media through the lens’ of the people who’ve formerly worked on the platforms. They dissect the business model many tech companies use to keep users absorbed in their phones and how their motive for profit is sending society down a slippery slope. They analyze how Big Tech companies, like Google, manipulate human psychology and use A.I to progress their companies forward. This documentary argues that the companies need regulation and a humane business model in order to avoid entering a complete dystopia. 

The Social Dilemma pairs interviews with a fictional story of a family in order to explain each piece of evidence presented to support their main idea. The fictional family featured an older high school female who opposes social media, a younger high school male who attempts a social media break before being sucked back in and a younger middle school female who is addicted. The documentary begins with mental health and psychology and ends with politics and polarization. 

This documentary couldn’t have been released at a better time. The original release was supposed to be January 2020 but changed to September 2020; this change even included a small section on coronavirus misinformation. Many of the problems discussed throughout the documentary are even more obvious now because of long-term quarantining, online schooling and increased social unrest and protest. According to The Social Dilemma, the root of all those problems is Big Tech’s control over the media we see. 

The Social Dilemma is extremely insightful and informative, even if it gets a little terrifying as it continues. The creators attempt to remedy that by closing the documentary with words of hope and a call to action, as well as words of advice during the ending credits. However, there’s always a feeling of dread as the interviewees unveil Silicon Valley’s intent behind social media and other tech. 

For the sake of preventing the country from collapsing in on itself, watch The Social Dilemma. Perhaps you’ll feel as motivated as me to witness change happen. I rate it 5/5.