I Watched The Social Dilemma and Reflected On My Relationship With Social Media
I heard about The Social Dilemma once it came out on Netflix, and I immediately added it to my watch list. I have an awful attention span, so I knew that it would be weeks, months, or even years before I would watch this movie.
I finished watching WWE 24 Drew McIntyre: The Chosen One (I recommend that you watch this even if you are not into wrestling), and I was in the mood for another documentary and picked the Social Dilemma as my next watch. I am so glad that I did.
In this post, I will discuss my relationship with social media as the film inspired these thoughts. As with all of my thoughts and takeaways posts, this is not a full recap or review.
“This documentary-drama hybrid explores the dangerous human impact of social networking, with tech experts sounding the alarm on their own creations.” – Summary from Netflix.com
Using Social Media While Consuming Media
I am an active participant in many fandoms, and sometimes social media determines what kind of fan you are. Social media revolves around being the first to do or get something, which is especially true in fandoms. Once something happens, you need to react to it right away or be late to the party.
And nobody wants to be late.
There have been times where I would watch a music video, and all I can think about is the tweet I will compose to reflect my reaction to the music video. I would do this instead of being present in the moment and enjoying the art that is a music video. There have also been times where I don’t even bother to tweet about a music video because I watched it a few days to a week after it came out, and I am late.
This leads me to my second thought.
I stopped using social media while I am watching live events. Like I stated in the beginning, I am a WWE fan. When I am online while watching RAW, SMACKDOWN, or NXT, I am not present in the moment. I would miss things here and there because I am splitting my attention. I wanted to be the first to react to something with a witty post as soon as it happens.
Now I mute notifications while I am watching wrestling and only check them during commercial breaks. Ever since I started doing that, wrestling has been more enjoyable to me. Big surprises like the return of Roman Reigns and Ember Moon are memorable moments to me because I reacted in real life first, then took the time to make a social media post about my excitement.
I think that most of us can relate to this.
For some time, I noticed what content would get me the most likes and follows, and for a while, that was all I posted. I have many interests, and I want to express my love for those too, even if I don’t get as many likes and follows.
Instagram is more enjoyable for me. I know my posts of sunsets and flowers won’t get as much engagement as my anime and cosplay posts, which is okay. It’s my Instagram page, and I should run it the way I want to and not let likes and follows determine what I post.
Everyone should watch this movie. Whether you think you have a healthy relationship with social media or not you need to watch this to see the ways in which social media is manipulating you and destroying your mental health.
My favorite quote from the film:
” Over time, you have the false sense that everyone agrees with you because everyone in your news feed sounds just like you. And that once you’re in that state, it turns out you’re easily manipulated. The same way you would be manipulated by a magician.”Roger McNamee
Facebook early investor and Venture Capitalist