Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
In this modern world, social media already plays a significant role in our day-to-day lives and it’s certainly affecting the way we interact with the real world. The modern technology indeed changed people’s lives, we became dependent on what technology can offer to us which could positively and negatively affects us. These different sides of social media have been emphasized in the newest documentary-drama film, “The Social Dilemma” directed by the American filmmaker Jeff Orlowski. The documentary mainly focuses on the impact of social media in many aspects of our lives as well as the insidiousness that underlies with it to also raise awareness with all the adverse effects and the manipulation behind social media that we are not consciously aware of due to our fondness with different social media platforms.
Most of the people who get easily hooked by social media are those teens who are also the ones that are more knowledgeable with the different social media sites. And as a part of this generation, I, myself, also experienced the addictiveness brought by the usage of social media. It somehow changed my perception with the real world and even with myself when it comes to self-satisfaction. For instance, people on social media who get the most likes and followers are most likely to be noticed and appreciated with other people and this could help them in building their self-confidence which is obviously a good effect of social media for these people. And this is what Justin Rosenstein, the inventor of Facebook’s feature, the “like” button, aims to in creating this feature. He stated during the interview on the film that it was designed to spread positivity but it only caused people depend their satisfaction with the amount of likes they get. In a serious matter, this could also affect people’s mental health. Whenever they don’t get enough likes or didn’t even get the attention of people on social media, it can already lead to anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide attempts. I presume that the increasing number of suicide incidents among teens today are also because of the pressure they get on social media. While in my experience, I tend to get disappointed with myself when no one shows appreciation with my posts or whatever I share on social media which directly affects my self-esteem and this is what social media has brought to us and especially to most of the teens today.
The most amazing part of the documentary film that makes an impact to its audience is where they were able to prove in such simple way the complex science of social media algorithms behind the virtual world without complicating and alleviating things to also let the audience see the only truth behind it. The way these interviewees who made a significant contribution to the creation of social networking sites admitted that they had also experienced the impact of these social media platforms that they once created and their honesty upon its context also helps the film to be more insightful. And it just shows that no one has never been affected by the repercussions of social media that even the people behind the creation of it cannot run away from its upshot.
Moreover, it was also shown in the documentary that social media has eventually damaged our society without us realizing it, and now that people are using it with their own different purposes, social media is now also becoming the source of illegal transactions or any wrongdoings of its users. An example for this is the surveillance capitalism and the data mining that were also shown on the documentary which have risen due to the users who are only after its financial gains. Since it was also shown in the film the usual events and issues inside a family brought by the usage of social media and where teens and each family member are being manipulated by it, the film becomes more relatable where audience can definitely relate themselves and come up with different realizations.
The documentary-drama film did a great job with their simple assessment of how social media already changed people’s lives and the accurate portrayal of how humans are being manipulated by the internet. However, when we look on the brighter side of social media, it truly enhanced our communication around the world with the different information that can now be effortlessly shared with the help of science and technology that made our lives easier. In conclusion and in my perspective, the users of social media are the only ones who made these negative effects of social media platforms where different aspects of our lives had been affected. This is also because of the lack of self-control and humans can normally get easily distracted due to the technology that also shortened our attention span. The documentary-drama film, “The Social Dilemma” made me realized that we shouldn’t be wasting our time and even our lives using the internet, and this kind of films should be promoted to raise awareness among the users of social media about with what it can cause to us.