The Social Dilemma - Any media is not impervious to our demands, desires or deprivations

Digital and New Media Consultant Sanjay Trehan shares his views on the Netflix documentary ‘The Social Dilemma’ and why he disagrees with some of the alarmist conclusions made in the film.

The Social Dilemma
On: Netflix
IMDb: 8.1/10
My rating: 8.2/10

An extremely opportune and intense documentary on what ails social media, its transformation from utopia to dystopia and how its managers manipulate the unsuspecting user to act according to the stimulus they generate. Indeed, a disturbing trend as AI and ML are increasingly fine-tuning their tentacles and reaching out to an ultra-narrowcasted individual. Especially gullible are young impressionable minds who are unable to sift fact from fake and get subconsciously manipulated. I thought this superbly curated documentary 'The Social Dilemma' made some extremely pertinent points but I don’t necessarily agree with its rather alarmist, end-of-the-world prognosis.

High technology is powering a super information highway in a connected and interdependent world. It provides a platform for people to reach out to each other, share, bond and outgrow their confines. But it’s a road that doesn’t drive itself. People drive their juggernauts on it and its they who deviate from the path of goodness and virtue. It’s not to say that the platforms don’t need to put in stricter regulations and draw a line at data mining. But as individuals we always have a choice to not watch that enticing video or click on that prurient link.

We are curious and voyeuristic by design and some people prey on those instincts. It is to them we have to say a resounding no, day in and day out, and as relentlessly as they pursue us. Why blame social media! If the genie is uncorked, remember the genie is us. Any media is not impervious to our demands, desires or deprivations. We need to use social media responsibly and take a deep, hard look at ourselves before we externalise the blame.

Remember a knife in the hands of a surgeon is a source of good and in the hands get the drift!


About the Author

Before running his consulting practice, Sanjay held senior leadership positions at HT Media, Microsoft, NDTV Convergence, and Times Internet. During his time at these companies, Sanjay led digital and new media initiatives across web, video, and mobile categories. He also spearheaded new global partnerships and developed go-to-market strategies based on value creation and sustainable competitive advantage.



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