If You Are Not Paying for the Product, You Are the Product!

What you can learn from the Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma.”

Daniel Hövermann
Change Your Mind Change Your Life
8 min readSep 24, 2020

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In its newly released documentary “The Social Dilemma,” Netflix analyses the techniques, and the underlying strategies of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

And I have to admit that immediately after watching this documentary, I deleted several apps from my cellphone and became more alert on my own “social media behavior.”

Isn’t it strange that there is such a thing as “social media behavior”? I was born in 1986 and got my first cellphone in 2001. A classy Nokia 3310 (a younger generation than the famous 3210 with all its heroic attributes) granted me access to the cooler side of the playground.

Some of the younger kids might not believe that, but this Nokia did not have any access to the internet. It had a two-color display, and the only way to “waste your time” was by playing snake (I inserted a link as I am not aware of how techy you are).

Everything changed in 2007 and the following, as Apple introduced the first iPhone. From 2009 on, you could see smartphones in almost any hand of younger and older people.

And according to the “Center for Disease Control and Prevention,” this was the turning date for “hospital admissions for non-fatal self-harm cases.” From 2009 until today, the number of girls aged 15 to 19 that injured themselves rose by +62%. The figures for girls aged 10 to 14 are even more striking: they went up by +189%.

I don’t want to blame the cellphones and mostly social media platforms solely for these increases. Nevertheless, as the experts in the documentary also stated, the “false” images of perfect bodies, wealth, and intense use of social media indeed have played a significant role.

Speaking about experts, in the documentary, a lot of (former) executives talk about their views on this topic. I like this aspect as not only professors share their outside perspective on this phenomenon, but also the designers of the platforms themselves.

And boy, what they share is hard to endure for me. It is a direct punch in the face as it reveals things that were…

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Daniel Hövermann
Change Your Mind Change Your Life

changing thoughts, behavior, and beliefs; a soul that finds the best way to be the biggest gift to you! Enjoy the ride!