Late in the party, but this weekend, I watched the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma that interviews the minds who created social media applications like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. And after watching it, I realised that we, as humans, are the biggest fools in the world. Harsh but the reality!!
You must have heard of fake news and social media plaguing human relationships, destroying families, causing civil wars and whatnot. And despite all we listen and read about, less we care and talk about all these consequences of social media in our lives. The doc helps you realise how the data collected from you is being used against you.
There is one frame in the documentary where the expert says that social media, if not regulated, will cause civil wears across many counties in the world in the next 10 years. This would be due to fake news, which in the present time, as per the fact, spreads six times faster than real news.
Fake news triggers anger in humans, most of the time, and spreads like wildfire causing communal riots (Delhi violence) and genocide (Rohingya) against a weaker section of the society.
The documentary explains how the AI regulating social media triggers your emotion to either make you happier or sadder and more depressed. Need an example?
Understand it is this way. What do most people do after a breakup? Seek social media to google “how to get over a breakup?” And that’s when the loop begins. After one video, you would be recommended more of such videos across social media. And the fact that the one telling you “how to cope up with a break-up” is not a psychiatrist or Sandeep Maheshwari most of the time, they could possibly make you even more depressed.
And sadly, that is exactly what is happening. We are in a loop. Addicted to seek solutions from media that most of the time adds to our woes. And such things won’t stop because companies cash in on the misery of humans.
Social media is so powerful that it can also change your opinion about a particular thing. A political party’s posts are shown most often to you so you can be influenced to like it and then vote for it. This is something that happened in the USA in the 2016 elections.
The whole aim of the documentary is to make you aware of the consequences of being addicted to social media and seeking solutions from it when it, most of the time, is the reason for your misery.
Social media is not bad. There are stories of people who used it for their good and are today reaping the benefits of it. It’s all in how you manage it and how much you let it manage you.