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  • Writer's picturePatrick Drenkelforth

The Social Dilemma: The ReflectionSocial networks lend themselves to many things, good or bad.

The Social Dilemma: The Reflection

Social networks lend themselves to many things, good or bad. If we do not handle it well, it can bring many problems to our lives and those of our children. For this reason, we will now reflect on the documentary "The Social Dilemma".

In our article, we will detail several important aspects about the main reflection or that leaves us the aforementioned documentary "The Social Dilemma". It includes a brief psychological analysis, the teaching for our children and much more.

The Social Dilemma: Summary

The Netflix production is a hybrid between a documentary and a drama based on arguments by former employees of large companies that explain the business of social networks, the power they wield and the negative impact they generate on users.

This is the result of perfectly designed strategies to manipulate and control our emotions and behavior, keep us highly connected and retain our time; all in order to show us more advertising.

In summary, the docudrama The Social Dilemma (name in English) tries to reflect, not the use we make of social networks, but rather, how they use us.

The Social Dilemma: Psychological analysis

In principle, social networks were created for something positive. Nowadays, that statement can be questioned, since in a scientific way, the documentary is based on how the networks are affecting all people, especially young people and children.

The business model of social networks seeks to keep their users glued to the screen, being the platforms capable of interfering in their real behavior and modifying the way they act or feel (anxiety, discomfort, insecurity, low self-esteem, etc.).

This is especially true for Generation Z (born between the 1990s and mid-2000s), the first generation to face the challenge of living with social networks forever, making it very difficult for them to disconnect.

To “hook” us to the networks, Big Tech uses what is known in psychology as intermittent reinforcement. When we open our phone we know that something new might interest us, an uncertainty that maintains and reinforces scrolling behavior (navigate without stopping).

Algorithms, created by humans and not for humans

Designed to get us addicted to social networks, an algorithm decides what, how and when to show us something, creating patterns of behavior that guess what we will do next to shape and manipulate us in the long run with new suggestions.

While created by humans, algorithms do not seek to benefit those they affect. They were made to keep users' attention "a while longer" on the platforms, a task they accomplish to perfection.

The ellipses when someone "writes", the rotated arrow that indicates "new interesting content", the recommended videos, advertising, "our likes", among others, are measured by an algorithm based on our Internet browsing.

On the other hand, a like is a measuring mechanism of "popularity" that can mean a lot, since it is synonymous of a necessary "approval" to deceive people's self-esteem (to feel better) and, in many occasions, to fill in gaps of loneliness and "dead times".

What does the film The Social Networking Dilemma teach us?

The main lesson of the film The Social Dilemma could revolve around the negative impact that social networks have on our lives, behaviors and thoughts; to the point of not being aware of the addiction they cause.

The intention of the documentary is to defend the theory that yes, we live with social networks, but it is important and necessary to educate ourselves about the problem of their indiscriminate use. We are the product and its goal is to make money.

For the creators of The Social Dilemma, the idea is to prevent and educate ourselves, learning to use the platforms and to be careful of "fake news" and malicious content.

The Social Dilemma: Teaching for children and young people

Currently, social networks can have a negative impact on children and adolescents exposed to a mobile device without the guidance of an adult, as they involve the manipulation and influence of digital content, often leading to depression and anxiety.

Children do not have the tools to cope with the noise of the networks. In fact, their vulnerability is revealed, not only by cases of suicides and disorders, but also because the founders themselves forbid their children to use them, recognizing the danger.

Social networks have tools behind them that work by generating addiction, a situation of which children are not aware. For this reason, they should be invited to reflect on their proper use and guide them so that it is something playful, social, entertaining and does not cross the line of dependence.

Some key points

Below, we would like to highlight certain aspects of the documentary that may be of interest to you for reflection and teaching.

1. “Pay… or the product is you”

Social networks make money over time. Thus, the more hours a person spends online, the more information he/she exposes, which is offered to potential customers..

2. Tools that manipulate

Many tools created within social networks seek to distract us while advertisers make money. One of them is the “automatic scrolling” of the user. to keep the user connected as long as possible.

In turn, notifications are among the most effective tools to attract people, keeping them connected and manipulating them to make them dependent, achieving with them a feeling of happiness.

3. False rewards

The documentary describes the methods of "immediate rewards" ("likes", positive comments, etc.) to manipulate emotions to unprecedented levels through dopamine, a neurotransmitter related to pleasure.

Thus, each validation received online generates new artificial impulses of dopamine (feeling joy and well-being). This is the system used by networks to keep increasingly lonely and needy users connected.

4. They do not offer security

According to the documentary, the irresponsible treatment given by social networks to their users is directly contributing to the increase in cases of depression and anxiety in children and adolescents, whose use of networks is not the cause.

5. Fake News "fast and furious"

According to the documentary, fake news spreads 6 times faster than real news. The point is that a system is created that privileges false information, because it is more profitable for companies than the truth..

6. How to improve the experience of using social networks

  • Reduce noise: Disable notifications, uninstall apps that do not add value and stop following content recommendations (manually select the one that interests you)..

  • Privacy: Configure browser privacy settings, periodically delete cookies, anonymize browsing via plugins and use services that do not collect your data..

  • Polarization: Check facts before sharing news and follow sources you disagree with to contrast. If it looks like clickbait or fake news, it probably is, and if you click on it, you encourage them to continue..

7. How to increase security in social networks for minors

  • Limits, both in schedules and situations. No screens after dinner, during meals or in their rooms before bedtime.

  • Age: no social networks or messaging applications until the age of 14, or even 16.

  • Negotiation: reach an agreement on daily screen time.

The Social Dilemma: Questions and answers

What is the main point of The Social Dilemma?

The main message of the documentary is that social networks interfere and negatively impact our lives, behaviors, thoughts and behaviors; affecting how we feel and act, and without being aware of the addiction they cause.

How long is The Social Dilemma?

The documentary is exactly 1 hour and thirty-four minutes long.


Who produces The Social Dilemma?

What does the Netflix The Social Dilemma tell?

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