Important Message From One of the Best Tech Documentaries of 2020

Problems and Solutions of The Social Dilemma

Lazar Gugleta
Oct 4, 2020 · 4 min read

I’m quitting all my social media.

That is what the vast majority of people concluded after watching this shocking documentary about the tech industry and its effects on people and their lives.

The first instinct is that you should leave your phone on the table next to you and never pick it up again.

Those strong feelings are being accumulated out of fear for what social media and stigma of today's society are doing to us.

Everyone is talking about the problem, but what are we as “users” supposed to do in order to find the solution?

The movie

This documentary-drama hybrid explores the dangerous human impact of social networking, with tech experts sounding the alarm on their own creations.

Currently, the most popular Netflixes documentary on their whole website is portraying this crazy but real picture of our society and how much social media has an impact on our lives.

Giant tech companies trying to fill our miserable antisocial lives with content that is going to keep us in the loop of the great algorithm.

Big Tech is represented by people who worked at those companies as engineers, project managers, and so on. Meaning that it is actually the people that made those algorithms are talking about how bad it is.

Personal takeaway

When I watched the documentary, my personal afterthought was that I did not learn anything new, since I am in the industry and I know how it all works.

But the representation of the whole process makes you think one more time before taking your phone and scrolling through that blend feed.

Tristan Harris talking about the algorithm

Is the movie taking it too far?

No.
There are no actual people standing around and manually manipulating you, but it is a good representation since people made the same algorithm, which serves them automatically.

The message should have been that strong in order to provoke feelings and talks inside our society although we fight this “issue” of addiction, to social media and our phones, for years now.

The mighty Algorithm

Three people making the algorithm and manipulating us into making decisions that suit them and their monetization gains.

From their users straight into money.

That process is how it actually happens on your feed and how it manipulates you although you don’t feel it.

You might just say oh those are just silly and stupid videos that I watch for fun.

That might be true, but what you don’t feel in the moment is that you are wasting so much time in that infinite loop, while they can serve you ads.

The algorithm representation from the movie

The takeaway

The best quote in this movie, that is going to stay with me for the longest time is when Tristan Harris said:

They are not treating you like customers, but rather users.
There are only two industries that use the term users and those are tech and drugs.

That is because everything we know about people and what makes them tick is implemented into those algorithms to keep you there.

Possible solution

The time we live in is rather quick-paced and that is also thanks to the contribution of our phones, but the question is do we have to use them all the time even when they are not serving the greater purpose.

Of course, no one is a robot and we have to have our fun but when does it stop?

Just making a first step towards reducing your screen time and thinking about leaving your phone once in a while is a good thing and something that we should not be afraid of.

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Lazar Gugleta

Written by

Data Scientist and Entrepreneur. Contact me: lazargugleta.github.io

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +787K followers.

Lazar Gugleta

Written by

Data Scientist and Entrepreneur. Contact me: lazargugleta.github.io

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +787K followers.

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