The social dilemma is a 2020 Netflix documentary that deals with the most important theme of our contemporary society, how technology and social media influence our lives and how the algorithm is completely getting the upper hand on our everyday decisions, he is basically guiding our life conduct.

People that used to work at Silicon Valley, for big companies like Facebook, Gmail, YouTube and so on, tell their work experience and why they decided to leave that kind of world because of ethics.

Ethics basically doesn’t exist in the world of Silicon Valley, neither the government nor the companies have “moral laws”,the problem is that the algorithm has now become uncontrollable.

Using this word it may seem the description of a dystopian world, but if we stop for a moment and think carefully about our lives, we may became aware of how addicted to social media we are.

The algorithm is practically taking advantage of our passions and interest to keep us always “online”.

In the documentary there was a very interesting quote that really impressed me and brought me to reflection:”There are only two industries that call their costumers USERS: illegal drugs and software.”

These aren’t just scary words referring to a strange and imaginary world,these are serious words concerning the real effects of social media, indeed the dopamine effect of social media is well known.

I am not saying that using social media is like using drugs,this would be crazy and nonsense, but we actually know that if we do not use social media in the right way, they can cause very big problems.

It is crucial and essential to educate,at schools and at home, about the use and abuse of social media, to know the advantages and disadvantages of them and learn to use them in the best and most correct way.

Of course governments and companies must take action and decide a more ethical line to follow, in order to be transparent with their “users”.

I think it will be useful to minimize our exposure on social media in order to be more in control of our life and don’t be so attached to them, we should be aware of how dangerous it can become in certain ways and be aware users, because nothing can overrule you when you are conscious and aware.

It would be hypocrite to say: “get out of social media and stop using them”.

I am a millennial, my generation is the generation Z, the one of technology and constant digitalization, nowadays it is very hard to think a society without social media, and especially for my generation it would be completely absurd and impossible.

An advice given in the documentary is to silent the notifications of our social media, so that we will not be constantly tempted and be in charge of our actions,be online  only when we want to.

Another important theme, maybe the most shocking and the one that has more consequences on our political life, is polarization.

We should stop using Facebook for information,first of all because there are lots of fake news and most of the times we are not able to understand if something is real or not, because we are not used and educated to do so.

Secondly because  most of the time the algorithm works  to show us only the things we like, in order to keep us online longer and longer.

The problem is that seeing only what we like and want to see and speaking only to people that think the same as we do, will completely immobilize and freeze our  view on one side.

Misinformation may be the real cancer of our democracy, polarization reinforces our stereotypes and bias, we really have to be careful and always remember that what we see online is just what the algorithm thinks we may like, we should go beyond, always question and have a critical eye on what we see on social media and remember that there isn’t an absolute truth .

We should learn to compare and dialogue on social media, while actually the only kind of dialogue on sociale media is hate speech .

The problem is not social media itself, it is how we use them, we have seen it clearly in the last years, especially in the last days, that our democracy is in real danger!!

We must educate ourselves, be ethical and try to be less “users” and just use social media for what they really are, tools. 

We must try to take advantage of them, not let them take advantage of us, use social media in the most positive way, to do something that may be universally good,would say the philosopher Kant.

Because moral and ethics aren’t just philosophical and abstract concepts, they are things needed in our lives and democracies, in lack of this, it becomes total anarchy, in the negative sense of the word, meaning absence of rules.

And in absence of rules, society becomes a war of omnia contra omnies another philosopher would say, Hobbes.

So it is necessary to take action, inform ourselves, be aware and demand LAWS that control this system, before everything goes out of hand.

I really recommend you to watch this illuminating documentary and try to take control of our lives, because if we don’t, a dystopian future portrayed in another Netflix series “Black Mirror”, may be very near.

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Miryea Cuccia


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