The Social Dilemma

I watched “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix the other day. It was a very compelling show, semi-documentary style, that is, it was mostly documentary but they did have sort of a story woven through it, a sort of a dramatic re-enactment in between the interviews and science fictiony scenes of three clones manipulating people’s minds, sort of like in ‘Inside Out,’ which, IMO, was one of those made for kids’ movies that had a serious, adult message. Animation can, indeed, be art.
I was rather stunned by the statistics, especially the suicide rate of pre-teen girls, which has tripled since the rise of social media. Tripled is pretty damned alarming, especially since I have a 14 year old girl whose relationship to Tik Tok could probably be viewed as an addiction. At any rate, I’m really, really glad the schools are open again because that’s a few hours of each day she must do something else.
But, all the stuff about algorithms, and how they give you more and more of what they see you are attracted to, is old news and personally, I see it as a sound business model. If you’re going to be bombarded with ads, it makes sense they should be about something you’re interested in.
Even the stuff about how Facebook knew they were causing psychological damage but plowed ahead anyway didn’t surprise me. I wish Mark Zuckerberg were a better person, but he’s certainly no worse than the executives at Monsanto, or Nestle, or Exxon, or Dupont, or Boeing, or Raytheon, who know that they are actually killing people, whereas Zuck is just providing a service which allows people to poison their own minds.
Which is worse – social media which lies to you by showing you more of what you want to see, without checking it for accuracy, or the government (pick a government, any government) and their allies (the mainstream media and the big corporations) who lie to you by lying to you?

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