One of the most acclaimed documentaries on Netflix at the moment is The Social Dilemma, a film by Jeff Orlowski that describes in detail how social media works and what they really do to us humans and our planet.
In the film, we get to take part in interviews with a large number of people with experience from the major technology companies, including Tristan Harris from Google, Jeff Seibert from Twitter, Bailey Richardson from Instagram, Sandy Parakilas from Facebook and Guillaume Chaslot from Youtube.
Among other things, we get to know how the algorithms contribute to an increased polarization in society, something that creates increased tensions and which in the worst case can lead to violence and war. One example is how the use of Facebook in Myanmar (Burma) has contributed to the genocide of Rohingya. Likewise, social media can be linked to depression and more suicides, especially among young users.
To give a perspective on how crazy it can go when the algorithms take over more and more, the interviews are interspersed with a fictional story about a family where the members have become dependent on their screens.
This is what the trailer for The Social Dilemma looks like:
While the subtitles are rolling, we also get a number of concrete tips on how to minimize the risks when using social media, including never clicking on something that is recommended.