Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Watching The Social Dilemma

OK so I took a friend's advice and watched this documentary on Netflix yesterday and whoa! It explains so much of what is going on in our country and the world at this moment. If you are on your phone constantly and looking for more hits etc. this will ring true for you. I gotta say I am grateful to be an old lady now, and not hooked on most social media, like Facebook, and don't even have a working cell phone (unbelievable, right?) then one would think I am not caught up in all this, but you'd be wrong. I still want to see how many likes I got on my Instagram feed, and can look at Pinterest for hours, and have nothing but wasted time to show for it. I just don't carry my laptop around with me and check it every ten minutes or so, but it dings when I have an email and I drop everything to go see who it is...not to mention I get up early and read CNN online to see what is happening like my first fix of the day with my coffee. 
If you've watched this doc, let me know what you think. 


  1. Remember the old 3-network nightly news broadcasts, with believable anchors? Gone. Now "alternative facts" flourish uncontradicted. As FB and others create individualized news feeds, they are merely distilling and concentrating narrow points of view. We think of social media as connecting everyone to everyone else. Instead it creates bubbles made of impenetrable opinion. You simply unfriend anyone who disagrees, and go on getting more and more confirmation of your initial prejudices. If everything you see fits your personal algorithm, you never learn or change, just become more and more sure that you are right and the other guy is wrong. Very scary.

  2. I'm with you... tried a "smart phone" but switched back to a flip phone for emergencies. We still have a landline and are home much of the time. I do follow FB and Insta - partly because I sell my work and these are ways to reach out to potential buyers, but I also love to see what others are doing. It's like following blogs only more of them and more frequent posts. Seems like bloggers are slowing down these days. As for news, it's really hard to trust 'em these days, and I'm with Charlene... I remember nightly news reports - we usually watched the 6 O'clock news, once a day. Those were the days! Of course there were also newspapers. I don't mind seeing different positions on issues, even used to like watching debates. But civility seems to have disappeared, so debates are now more like shouting matches and you still don't know what the debaters stand for. Time for a good book! ;-)

  3. I also watched this documentary and was as frightened and dismayed as you were. I sent the link to my kids (all adults) in the hope they will also watch it. My kids and grandkids are attached to their devices. At Christmas, I took the electronics away and put them in a basket from morning until 5 pm. I explained they didn't come hundreds of miles to my house to spend the time staring at a screen. Lots of grumbles, but after an hour or so of chatting, laughing and playing games, they were having fun together. We connected and had a great Christmas. The adults even left the phones in the basket and watched movies and had fun.
    I wish people would get their noses out of the quagmire of Facebook, Twitter and whatever else is out there and think for themselves. Very sad.

  4. Such an interesting, and timely post Melody. To my surprise I was put on to the documentary by my son and DIL, both of whom are somewhat "further right" than my husband and I. However, at 40, they are wrestling with bringing up two little children and becoming more vigilant about social media as a result. They were horrified by it, and have thought through how to help keep their children safe, which delighted me.
    We live in New Zealand, and as well as reading the local news, we routinely check The Guardian from the UK for world news, and since Covid, the Washington Post or NYT to see what numbers are tracking like in the US. I do have a Facebook page, but I'm not on there much. The other place I look sometimes it The Observer. It is necessary to search around to pick up the range of views out there, ignoring the worst of the crazies!

    Keep safe, and try to keep sane!

  5. Thanks so much for recommending this!

  6. I watched this show the other night and can't quit thinking about it. I certainly knew how social media could eat up my time, but I wasn't aware of the way it's engineered to keep reinforcing our world view, leading to entrenched positions on issues and increasing the "tribalism" of our society. About a year ago I began making a conscious effort to read about and listen to ideas very different from mine. Being a staunch Democrat I made a point of listening to Fox radio during the day and subscribed to the Wall Street Journal in an effort to round out my almost constant exposure to liberal commentary. It was/is very interesting, and while I don't agree with much of what I get from these conservative sources, I do find more in common with than I expected. It also helps me identify "over the top" commentary from my usual sources. One of the suggestions of the experts --made at the end of Social Dilemma when the credits rol-- was to make a point of hearing/reading different viewpoints, and I've found that to be very useful for me. Anyway, I'm so glad you recommended this documentary!