The Social Dilemma

As an quick addendum of my last post, “Free Speech versus the Thought Police,” I wanted to make you aware of the 2020 Netflix original documentary, The Social Dilemma.” Here’s the video trailer description: “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.” 

I hadn’t heard of this movie until my good friend, Mark Hendrickson, mentioned having seen it in the comments of my last post. I immediately had to investigate!

As The Social Dilemma website tells us on its home page:

“The technology that connects us also…

  • Controls us…
  • Manipulates us…
  • Polarizes us…
  • Distracts us…
  • Monetizes us…
  • Divides us.

That’s both frightening and true. It’s well documented that social media has given us the illusion of social connection while causing more anxiety, depression, and divisive polarization than any venue we’ve ever used before. And 90% of the world is plugged into it! That’s about as Orwellian as you can get!

As I mentioned before, most people don’t realize that the reason these platforms are free is because these companies are using you as their product. Like the machines in the Matrix movie, they feed off of you and sell your profile to marketing companies. This is how people like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey have become the new billionaire robber-barons with their stranglehold monopolies on information flow and free speech. Not only that, they now have the power to manipulate what you think with their hidden algorithms.

If you thought it’s all good that you can “connect” with loved ones for free, this movie will dispel that naïve notion for good! Nothing is free in this world (only God’s grace and love!). Everything that’s offered to you always comes with a cost, whether it’s apparent or hidden. And that cost can be horrific.

“Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse.” (Sophocles)

Here’s a trailer for the movie. Until responsible and transparent social platforms rise up and take the forefront of our cultural marketplace of sharing ideas and conversation, this documentary should serve as a warning to us. I know I will be watching the whole movie this weekend. If you haven’t done so already, I hope you watch it, too, so we can all learn what’s being done to us in the name of “staying connected,” and protect ourselves and our loved ones from its darker and more sinister effects on us.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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11 Responses to The Social Dilemma

  1. Reblogged this on Inspirations By Katheryn and commented:
    I think all of you have seen this. When we should be meeting each other, our faces are buried in something distant and remote.

  2. John Cooper says:

    Controls us…
    Manipulates us…
    Polarizes us…
    Distracts us…
    Monetizes us…
    Divides us.
    On the other hand, some would say that the above sounds exactly like what the American evangelical church is engaging in.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Some would say that, and no one is more critical of that than Scripture. I actually wrote about that in my recent post, “True Power.”

      “But when we deny God’s power, turning it into an empty philosophy of words, we’re left with powerless religion, which usually leads us back to resorting to some form of manipulation, control, or deceit to achieve power.”

      Of course, this would also be universally true in some cases because it’s a human propensity.

  3. Steve Sawyer says:

    I’m almost afraid to comment for fear of retribution from the thought police. Oh well, I agree wiyh all you are saying. I’m sorry that “free speech is being taken from us. Mel, do you think real free speech will ever show back up in our culture? “Yikes, “Nothing is free in this world (only God’s grace and love!). Everything that’s offered to you always comes with a cost, whether it’s apparent or hidden. And that cost can be horrific.” So so sad.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I’m hopeful, Steve. We are starting to see some push-back, as I showed in my last post. One innate desire in all human beings is to be free. Oftentimes we just don’t know we’re being put in bondage because it’s so subtle and gradual. But I think more and more people are waking up to what’s happening and don’t want any part of it. If not, as they say in the movie, we as a culture are toast!

  4. Hmm, I can’t remember if I saw this one or not? I’ll have to check it out. There’s something that always makes me hesitant to agree. I guess in part, I feel like people have always been polarized, divided, and isolated. Also, easily manipulated and brainwashed, refusing to take responsibility even for our own thinking. Up until very recent history we were actually engaged in world wars, actual racism, perpetual cancel culture, and other assorted horrors. So do we blame the medium for our poor behavior? Before social media we had television, which did similar things to us, but then we also had telephones, books… the printing press. We certainly did ban printing presses at one point because it turns out that people communicating and organizing can be really problematic. Laughing, but I totally get the wisdom behind God tearing down the tower of Babel and confusing the languages.

    I don’t have any answers, beyond I think we need to start being accountable for ourselves. When social media fact checking got popular, I wasn’t so horrified that an effort was being made to control the narrative, but rather that people believed they/we are so stupid, we have to be protected from alleged gossip and fake news, least we fall for it. Pretty soon satire started coming with a warning, to protect anyone who might embarrass themselves by believing it. I’m far more concerned about the fact that so few people actually want to do the research, to investigate, to think for themselves. We can make Big tech into the boogeyman, and perhaps we should, but just the same people are encouraging them, turning one another in, reporting alleged bad thought, constantly.

    But as far as Big Tech running about like a world superpower attempting to manipulate and control nations and hiding behind section 230, oh yes, that’s an issue for sure.

    • Mel Wild says:

      My wife and I just watched it tonight. EVERYONE should really watch it! I never liked Facebook, or Twitter, etc. because I understand marketing and algorithms, and know that you either buy a product or you are the product! It also seemed to waste too much of my time, and it ruins having real face-to-face relationships. But after seeing this documentary, it’s far worse than I ever imagined!

      Most of the people interviewed in the documentary were the original developers of the social media giants, and it should tell us something important when you find out that none of them will allow their children on any social media site!

      I agree that we’ve always had a propensity to be polarized and divisive but Facebook and Twitter, etc., by intended design, manipulates us to bring out worst aspects of our nature because that gets more screen time and, thus, generates more revenue (just like the MSM). That’s why it’s far worse now than ever before. Not to mention, high rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide with teenagers. But the original developers were saying that the AI software they use now is getting so powerful that even they don’t have total control over it. So, the “users” don’t have a chance against it, especially if they’re the addictive type. And, from what I see, there’s a LOT of people totally addicted to their phones.

      I liked what one person said: there’s only two types of products where the customers are called users–illegal drugs and software!

      Btw, I’m not against the idea of social media per se. I will just not be using Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, etc. I already have to post things on our church FB site, but that’s it. If there’s one out there that doesn’t turn us into food farms in the Matrix for the machines, I would be interested in being on occasionally to keep in touch with friends and family. I’m hopeful that something can be created with blockchain technology, which would add a lot more protection.

  5. Pingback: The Social Dilemma – sevennotesofgrace

  6. Pingback: How Public Schools Dumb Down Our Children…and Worse | In My Father's House

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