The Social Dilemma: Netflix documentary on social media evils

Netflix released the official trailer of The Social Dilemma, a documentary-drama hybrid. It will be available for streaming on Netflix from September 9, 2020, onwards.

Directed by the Emmy-award winning Jeff Orlowski, The Social Dilemma cast includes Skyler Gisondo, Kara Hayward, and Vincent Kartheiser (of the Mad Men fame).

The Netflix original documentary features Tristan Harris, the co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology; its advisors, and other tech-heads, among them Justin Rosenstein, the co-inventor of the Facebook ‘Like’ button and Tim Kendall, the former President of Pinterest; as they explore the impact that social media has on our lives through a series of interviews.

The trailer of The Social Dilemma starts with a Google search window superimposed on an ever-changing group of individuals. A voiceover tells us how Google shows different results for something we search on it based on our location, search history, etc.

And then comes the revelation that “that’s not by accident, that’s a design technique”. Everything that we do online is ultimately tracked and recorded by a team of engineers in the name of helping them serve us better.

The official description on YouTube reads: “We tweet, we like, and we share – but what are the consequences of our growing dependence on social media? As digital platforms increasingly become a lifeline to stay connected, Silicon Valley insiders reveal how social media is reprogramming civilization by exposing what’s hiding on the other side of your screen.”

From the 2010 American biographical movie The Social Network, within a span of ten years social media – in some ways – has become a dilemma. And this documentary could not have come at a more apt time when almost all of humanity is hugely dependent on social media since a pandemic is making us stay at home and work from home.

There is dystopian fiction – like Katie Delahanty’s Keystone – which shows a futuristic society where ‘Influencers’ rule the roost. A recent Indian web series, Kashmakash, was a crime drama associated with the darker side of social media. But coming from the very people who created the various platforms/features of social media, this is a real-life discourse about the dark side.

The Social Dilemma promises to reveal what actually goes on behind the scenes.

Check out the official trailer of The Social Dilemma here:

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