There are very few times I have ever recommended a movie to someone, simply because I am no movie connoisseur. If you are on social media, then this one is a must-watch. And here is why.
I am a digital marketing consultant, with MSC and BSC degrees in IT and Telecommunications, certifications from the E-commerce council, Google, SEMrush, and other industry-leading entities. In my over 10 year career in this industry, I have never come across such a revealing Tech documentary.
It made me realize how little most people know about apps they so frequently use, and since most of you are soo busy, here are some reasons you need to watch this documentary.
Most of us use social media without reading the terms and conditions. After all, they are lengthy, hard to understand and just plain complicated. We simply scroll down to the accept button, press submit and rush to the fun part. I admit it, I have done that myself, many times.
It is simply human to avoid unnecessary effort, as we may deem it. If everyone is using it, it must be safe, right?. Wrong.
Technology has evolved to a level where it surpassed our human weaknesses, and in that simple fact, is the real danger.
Believe it or not, on the other side of the screen is a supercomputer that tracks everything you do on social media. And by everything, I mean everything. What you like, what you dislike, who you follow, which videos you like, even how long you watch each one of them, and what you do after you watch them. These in technical terms are called data points.
These data points are then used to create a persona or an electronic avatar of your personality.
This data is then sold to advertisers who can now target you with exactly what you are inclined to like. This is why companies like Google and Facebook are so rich, this is how they make their money, by ‘monetizing’ your personal information.
If you have a social media app on your phone, you will admit that you can’t resist to check it every so often. Be it Whatsapp, Twitter, Your email inbox, or Instagram, we all have some app that has us hooked.
There are simple ways and apps that can help you measure how much time you spend on social media apps. Just go to your play store and search for one, most of them are free. And just like me, you will be shocked!.
I have been tracking my social media use since I watched The Social Dilemma Documentary, and I use Whatsapp an average of two and a half hours every day. To put that in perspective, that is more than 20% of my waking hours.
Thankfully, I don’t have any other social media app on my phone. But take a minute and check how much time you are spending on a daily basis on social media.
The reason this is so is that the more time you spend on an app, the more the supercomputer behind it gleans information about you. And therefore it can recommend something to be sold to you better. So the more you stay the better. And the big tech companies have figured out how to use your psychology against you.
Just like junkie craving for the next high, we scroll endlessly looking for the next thing to enjoy, and the cycle keeps going on and on. It almost like magic.
What would you do if you knew that your anxiety levels and stress are directly linked to your social media usage?. To put it simply, stress is caused when we feel our expectations are not met. Be it expectations set by ourselves or by others. Social media increases stress levels by constantly displaying unrealistic standards that unconsciously results in stress.
In the US for example, the increase in teenage and preteen self-harm has directly been linked to social media usage.
Our devices have become our digital pacifiers for when we feel any form of discomfort, and that in itself is dangerous.
Social media apps and platforms are built and managed using algorithms. An algorithm is a computer program that is so smart that we can say that it has a mind of its. They are built to achieve a certain commercial goal. Be it to get you to spend more time on the app, test you more and more on what you like and don’t like, and finally sell you more.
There is a famous quote, that if you cannot see the product in any transaction, then you are the product.
All social media platforms are just markets to sell your attention and interests.
Social media platforms only serve us content that is customized to our preferences, and what the supercomputers think we will like most. For example, if you were to go on Google and search for climate change, the auto-suggestions that come after that phrase are dependent on where you are among other factors.
It is no longer about facts, but about what an algorithm thinks you are inclined to believe. It is no surprise that fake news spreads 7 times faster than real news. The playing field has been tilted and we are at a huge disadvantage and are unaware. The system is biased to false information because it is more profitable. Truth just became relative.
There is more in the documentary, but that’s for you to find out. These are just a few highlights I could summarize for you.
What Next After Watching The Social Media Dilemma?
The biggest question is, what should you do, now that you know that social media is after your very own life?. At least the first step is to be aware, and that was the goal of this post. Secondly, the immediate thing you can do is remove all the apps you don’t need for work from your devices. Avoid using them as much as possible.
Finally, spread the knowledge, please share this blog and inform those you care about.