Social media under fire

The impact of the Social Dilemma documentary


Designed by Sam Sampson

Social media is under fire by scientists for its control over peoples’ lives

Sam Sampson, Writer

Talking about social media for anyone can be difficult, especially when there is a negative connotation behind it. For example, students who have grown up with social media think of it as a part of life, or a way of simply interacting with each other. Adults on the other hand, have begun to adapt and use it themselves. The documentary Social Dilemma directed by Jeff Orlowski is about how large social media companies, like Google, may have more to do with growing interest in social media than thought.   

The documentary takes the thoughts and opinions of many different people, but the main speaker is Tristian Harris, a former design ethicist for Google. He talks about many different issues revolving around social media and it’s extensive growth over the last two decades, ever since the beginning of Facebook. Senior Sydney Hunst, said her biggest takeaway from the documentary was, “To see the real effects that social media and technology have on us.” From this response comes the idea that there are many unknowns about social media, and that there is still so much to be discovered, which is a cause for concern. Hunst also said, “The issues we have with social media now will worsen.” This is her main concern with social media and what may be in store for its future. 

Adults have lived in this dilemma from start to present times, and have seen its impact on people. From the perspective of a teacher from Owatonna High School, Ms. Lauren Gendron, many issues arise around social media. Gendron said, “It leads people to post without thinking of harmful consequences either to other people’s feelings and values.” This is an important point that leads to issues, but there is a big conversation to be had about the regulation of social media. All that surrounds social media seems to be good, but there is a lot left to learn about what the big companies like Google are doing with all of the information they gather through the users of social media.

Social Dilemma gives insight into many parts of social media that many may have never thought about before. The documentary can be found on Netflix and is streaming there for anyone to watch. From this documentary, there is a lot to be thought about, but the big thing is, how large will the impact social media has become?