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“The Social Dilemma” was everything but plain and boring. Regardless of what you may think about the movie, one thing stands – it has created a space for serious social media-related discussion that was way overdue. This intriguing cinematic piece has raised awareness about some serious issues, such as data collection, social media, and processing large quantities of information.
This article will talk about the most important points made in “The Social Dilemma” documentary, the lessons we learned, and some quick tips and suggestions on how to decrease your social media addiction.
1. Device Notifications Are Actually a Tool
“The Social Dilemma” discusses how notifications are tools that aim to keep users as active and as engaged as possible. When you think about it a bit deeper, you’ll realize that it’s true. If they wanted, users could just log into their accounts and check notifications. However, today’s notification system works differently.
Phones have light signals, vibrations, and they produce loud sounds once a notification arrives. This was designed to draw attention and to make users click on the notification as soon as possible. This creates a habit, so try to disable as many non-important notifications as possible.
2. Our Brains Have Difficulty Processing Excessive Information
“The Social Dilemma” also discusses how there’s an abundance of information out there at the moment. While that is true, especially since we didn’t have so much access in the past, our brains can have negative consequences. You see, while our brains were designed to process as much information as possible in the fastest time, processing so much irrelevant information can clog our minds.
Our brain’s capacity hasn’t gotten used to processing these insane amounts of information. While it will likely evolve slightly in the future, the current situation just proves how important it is to declutter irrelevant information. So, we recommend decluttering your feeds and unfollow unnecessary people – you will feel much lighter.
3. Scrolling is Time-Wasting
Have you noticed how most social media sites have included an infinite scrolling mode? Yes, this is on purpose. Again, scrolling endlessly increases user engagement, and it creates a sense of addiction. It has become a common habit to unlock your phone and scroll meaninglessly when you’re bored or waiting in lines.
The Social Dilemma thoroughly discusses how, thanks to infinite scrolling, users often spend hours on social media. With so many ads, influencers, and sponsored content, you will always have something to look at. Now, Instagram has even included a new option that displays only suggested posts once you’ve scrolled through all your friends’ posts.
4. Are Consumers the Product?
This has been a hot topic for a while – have consumers become the product? Recent years have shown that Big Data plays a huge role in today’s digital environment. Users have become both consumers and the product. While they consume content, information is being gathered on them, which is later used for advertising purposes or is sold to data farming companies. However, users also must realize that they still have some control.
Certain regulations require companies to ask for approval before gathering data. Moreover, Google and other companies have dedicated settings that allow you to prevent Google from storing your data. But these options are cleverly hidden, so users would skip over, or never even find out that they existed. After the Social Dilemma premiered, one of the top Google searches was “how to hide my IP”. One of the most popular ways of concealing your online activity and ensuring your privacy is using a VPN. Additional security tools, such as password managers, are always recommended to go along with VPNs to help keep your accounts secure and hacker-proof. Click here to learn more.
Do Algorithms Control What We View?
This was another hot topic that was covered in “The Social Dilemma.” It shows that companies always try to control what content their users are exposed to. And what’s even worse? We’re helping them without even knowing about it. You see, when you click on a suggested video on YouTube, the algorithm will remember your choice and display similar content in the future.
It carefully follows and collects all user habits, so they would optimize ads and displayed content. It has gone so far that it appears as though some platforms have a mind of their own. To avoid this, we recommend not clicking on suggested posts. Instead, use a manual search to find the desired content.
5. The World of Fake News
“The Social Dilemma” wouldn’t be a proper social media documentary without touching on the topic of fake news. There is a whole industry behind fake news, which are used for different purposes – mostly manipulation. “The Social Dilemma” emphasizes how important it is to fact-check all information before forming an official opinion. We also recommend checking multiple sources to ensure that you got the whole picture, instead of breadcrumbs that had been placed by someone else.