A New Movie, A New Thought · 5 December 2020
I like social media, but I must say that I have never really been sucked in by the whole thing. After watching The Social Dilemma, I think I will keep using social media sparsely, the way I have been since the beginning.
When I first signed up for my social media accounts, I was really just looking to find a few old friends. And to promote my writing. Not necessarily to those same friends, but to what I hoped would be a large audience. I have connected with a few old friends and I see my family on Facebook from time to time, but I try to stay away from most of what is called discourse on social media. And after watching The Social Dilemma, I see that discourse is not really possible on social media anyway.
If you have not watched it yet, you should watch The Social Dilemma. Not because I said so. Not because other people recommend it. But because it gives a unique insider perspective to the world behind social media. Developers and designers and experts in many fields weigh in on this phenomenon called social media and the runaway train it has become. Some of the dramatization that wends its way through the movie is overstated, but one part in particular is more the other way. It is way understated. But I do not want to give it away. (You will surely know it when you see it.) I just want to tell people to watch the movie to see if they agree with at least some of what is being said.
I liked the movie, not because I agreed with it all, but because it made me think. It made me think about social media in a way that I never thought before. And it made me think about myself and other users of social media in a way that I never thought before. One particular thought came through loud and clear. If you are not paying for something, you are the product. Which in and of itself is mindboggling and eye-opening.
If you are glued to your phone and social media 24-7, you might want to watch the movie a couple times. If you do watch the movie and you do not turn off all your notifications at the very least, you may not have gotten the point. If you already sleep away from your cell phone and tablets, you might not even need to watch it.
I do not usually critique movies or give them raves, but I had to at least mention this movie. Its points are too important not to think about. So when you watch The Social Dilemma, take the time to think about whether you are using social media or social media is using you.
© 2020 Michael T. Miyoshi
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