The Social Dilemma on Netflix

For several years, I have been advocating that everyone in the entire world get off of social media in general, and delete their Facebook account in particular.

Now, the very people who created these digital monsters are joining me.

The Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma is now available to watch, and I strongly recommend that everyone watch it…and if you have children, watch it with them.

While I’m not a fan of ‘reenactments’ in documentary films, I sat through these segments in The Social Dilemma because I found the on-camera interviews with the tech professionals so compelling.

By ‘tech professionals’, I mean people like the guy who invented the Like Button on Facebook, the guy who’s job it was to monetize these platforms, the women who understand intimately the manipulative powers of these networks, and the people (these very same people) who–as parents–won’t allow their own children to have an account on these same networks.

It is a sobering, even terrifying testament to the dangers of social media. (And yes, I’m aware of all the good that this technology has done in connecting people globally, but we’ve reached a point where we have to retreat, regroup, regulate, and reinvent our relationship with social media.)

If you’ve ever wondered why people are carrying automatic weapons in the street and why you can’t have a civil  conversation about politics with your brother-in-law, this film is for you. If you’re wondering why some people seem to be living in an alternate reality (complete with alternate facts), this film is for you. If you’re wondering whether or not our democracy is going to survive this moment in time, this is the film for you.

If you’re like me, and you already know why so many alleged adults are acting like high-schoolers who’ve had one too many Red Bulls, then this will only confirm your suspicions.

Still, you can watch, nod in knowing agreement, and then recommend all of your friends watch it.

This is what I’ve done.

As a country, we may have to fall flat on our face and stumble to our feet with a bloody nose before we disconnect from social media and reconnect with our fellow Americans. (Even–and especially–with the ones with whom we disagree.)

Perhaps, though, if we watch The Social Dilemma and spread the word, we can avoid that outcome.


  • BGT



4 thoughts on “The Social Dilemma on Netflix

  1. Byron,

    An excellent recommendation. I’m spreading the word – verbally !

    I have never joined any social media groups, not even LinkedIn. I suppose it might be comical to some that I publicly admit I don’t even know how to sign up and do not have the slightest interest either.

    At work I was in a group of four people reporting directly to corporate level. One day a colleague said to me: “ Do you know that there are guys in our group that don’t switch their phones on when they’re on days-off ? “

    My response was: “ Do (you) know, I am one of them ? “

    And it made not one iota of difference.


  2. Being on social media will do nothing for you unless there is a specific reason, such as having a distant relative that you want to exchange photo’s of your kids with you are looking for employment “Linkedin”

    I always feel a bit sad when I watch these kind of documentaries, because the older generation of software developers who wrote software for Satellites, Radar and Medical equipment made a much more of a change in the way we live without the wealth or fanfare. (It was also harder to do).

    I have no social media, except for LinkedIn. The weekend mornings are spent reading a physical newspaper and in terms of connectivity, a TV antenna in the attic and a simple internet connection for Netflix, The Criterion Channel and MHZChoice.

    Marketers have always had ways of building “personas” based on your buying patterns, Think back to the old S&H green stamps or the Coupon on Ciggerette packs, and the merchandise that the WWII generation redeemed them for. All of the info was kept in Databases. (Primitive ones)

    The only people I need to be liked by is my wife and son. Protect your privacy as we move towards a cashless society it will get harder to maintain.

  3. I watched it and learned a few things. But I think social media is like anything else – to be done in moderation. I have caught up with old friends on Facebook that may have been lost forever otherwise. And my niece sends me a daily goofy picture of her and/or her dog on Snapchat, which always cheers me up. I think a good rule of thumb is to only add people as “friends” who you have actually met in person. Also become familiar with privacy settings and use them to the fullest.

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