Embedded today in the gjsentinel.com website is an hour-long video of a panel discussion on ‘The Social Dilemma” which took place last month at Colorado Mesa University.
Here’s a link: https://youtu.be/56gD6fb0BlY
The discussion puts a finer point on the docudrama as we hear from the director, his team and one on-screen subject about their personal takeaways from the filmmaking experience.
Among them is the concept of “passive consumption.” If we’re going to pay for something, like movie tickets, we read a review or maybe get a friend’s opinion on whether it’s worth the price of admission. But social media is “free” so there’s no discernment mechanism. These platforms throw everything at us and see what sticks through machine learning and algorithms.
We’re unaware of how we’re being polarized from each other and the benefit to advertisers. It looks and feels free, but there’s a cost we pay. Social media is an extractive business model that uses our attention to benefit a third party we don’t see.
Our feeds conform to our tastes and preferences, creating customized realities in which facts are fungible. There’s a difference between connection and connectivity. While the user experience suggests we’re all connected, the reality is that we’re all castaways on deserted islands drifting farther apart.
We’ve asked our readers to watch “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix — and now the panel discussion — to better understand how social media platforms are making it hard for us to come together as a community to solve our most pressing challenges.
Now we want your impressions. Did the film and discussion change how you view social media? Have you decided to change your habits online? We want to know if being aware of the silo effect changes how you interact with others. What are you doing to have civil discussions with people whose views are different from yours?
Send thoughts in an email to email@example.com. We’ll publish them in an upcoming “You Said It” section dedicated to responses to “The Social Dilemma.”
If you want to understand the problem, watch the film and panel discussion. Below is our view of something that can be done to stem one of the destructive forces driving polarization.