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  • Rick Bonetti

The Social Dilemma

Updated: Apr 19, 2022

“In a time when technology has become our lifeline, it is important than ever that we examine the role it plays in our lives and realign it with the interests of people, not profits.” ~ The Social Dilemma

Social media companies are competing for your attention: Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, tiktok, Google, Pinterest, Reddit, Linkedin… their business model is to keep people engaged on the screen. Advertisers pay these companies for showing their ads.

“If you’re not paying for the product then you are the product.”

Jaron Lanier, author of Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, says that’s too simplistic an explanation and puts it this way: “It’s the gradual, slight, imperceptible change in your own behavior and perception that is the product… changing what you do, how you think, who you are."

From the Amazon book review:

“Lanier’s reasons for freeing ourselves from social media’s poisonous grip include its tendency to bring out the worst in us, to make politics terrifying, to trick us with illusions of popularity and success, to twist our relationship with the truth, to disconnect us from other people even as we are more ‘connected’ than ever, to rob us of our free will with relentless targeted ads… How can we remain autonomous in a world where we are under continual surveillance and are constantly being prodded by algorithms run by some of the richest corporations in history that have no way of making money other than being paid to manipulate our behavior? How could the benefits of social media possibly outweigh the catastrophic losses to our personal dignity, happiness, and freedom?”

The Social Dilemma is a Netflix original documentary-drama hybrid (released August 2020) that “explores the dangerous human impact of social networking with tech experts, sounding the alarm on their own creations.”

Compelling interviews include:

Tristan Harris (former Design Ethicist at Google; co-founder of Center for Humane Society)

Randy Fernando (former Product Manager at NVIDIA; former Executive Director at Mindful Schools; co-founder of Center for Humane Society)

Aza Raskin (formerly Mozilla Labs & Foxfire; co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology; and inventor of Infinite)

Tim Kendall (former Director of Monetization at Facebook: Former President of Pinterest; and CEO of Moment)

Jaron Lanier, author of Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now (computer scientist and “founding father” of virtual reality.)

Roger McNamee (venture capitalist and early investor in Facebook)

Justin Rosenstein (former engineer at Facebook and Google: Co-founder of Asana)

Shoshana Zuboff, Ph.D. (professor Emeritus at Harvard Business School; and author ofThe Age of Surveillance Capitalism)

Jeff Seibert (former executive at Twitter; serial tech entrepreneur)

Sandy Parakilas (former Operations Manager at Facebook; former Product Manager at Uber)

Joe Toscano (former Experience Design Consultant at Google; author of Automating Humanity)

Lynn Fox (former Director of Corporate PR at Apple: former Corporate Communications at Google)

Dr. Anne Lembke (Medical Director of Addiction at Stanford University School of Medicine)

Take back control of your relationship with technology. Find out how to spread the word and what actions you can take at website. Join the Movement for Humane Technology.

“Never before have a handful of tech designers had such control

over the way billions of us think, act, and live our lives.” ~ the social dilemma


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