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The Social Dilemma causes new considerations  


     The Social Dilemma is a 2020 American docudrama film written and directed by Jeff Orlowski and written by Orlowski, Davis Coombe and Vickie Curtis. It was released on Netflix Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. The Social Dilemma focuses on the impact of social media and smartphones on humans. 
     The Social Dilemma shows evidence that teens and adults deal with challenges by turning to social media for distraction instead of real world reflections. Although social media can be used for uplifting each other and spreading positivity, there is a darker side of cyberbullying that has been shown to skyrocket suicide rates since the advent of social media. I will never forget the scene in the movie where a little girl (in her early teens) posts a picture on Instagram after editing it. Shortly after, she deletes it because it didn't get enough likes. She then edits it some more, and someone comments the elephant ears emoji and says “can your ears get any bigger?” She goes to the bathroom, stares at herself in the mirror and starts crying. This scene was so powerful to me because you never know how badly words can hurt. Even if it’s one mean emoji, it can make someone feel insecure or like they are not good enough. 
     After watching this, my perspective has drastically changed on smartphones and the information they can access. I have always thought that smartphones have been beneficial for many reasons such as communication, business, ideas and much more. However, I looked right past the fact that they have become such a necessity in our lives. The question the documentary encourages is “how much is too much?” Think about the last time you did something without using your phone. I know I can't remember because almost everything we do traces back to our phones one way or another. 
     Aside from the struggles with mental health, social media has also gone way past the line of accessible information. Have you ever noticed how sometimes you might be shopping online for something like a dress and you found one but didn't buy it. A few days later, when scrolling on Instagram, you see the exact dress in an ad on your feed. It happens to me all the time and I'm not going to lie, it freaks me out a little bit knowing that our phones save that information. I started to think a little deeper on it and wanted to know why they do that. About five minutes later in the movie, it tells you that they are doing it to bait you because it gives them more profit. They want you to click on that ad of a dress you were looking at earlier so you will go back on the website. Next thing you know, 20 minutes have passed by because you started scrolling on that site due to that one ad. 

Social Dilemma Graphic Option.PNG

Graphic by Forbes Hall

     If you haven't already seen The Social Dilemma, I would highly recommend it. I was worried to watch it at first because I thought it was going to make me want to destroy my phone, but all it did was show me a new perspective and let me know that I need to be aware and a little bit more cautious about how much time I spend with my face in a screen. 

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