Friday, March 12, 2021

The Social Dilemma - TV Talk


I knew that social media was designed to be addictive and that we - ourselves- are the product being offered but I honestly had no idea just how bad it could truly be.

I consider myself very lucky. I grew up in a time where I still remember using encyclopedias or other books to get information on things. I remember how slow dial-up was. I hated when the teacher would give me an assignment where I could only use the internet. I could find the answer so much faster using books! 

Of course, that changed quickly when I was in elementary with floppy disks, and by the time I was in high school, thumb drives had come into the picture. I never got into MySpace but we had Facebook and the others. I just never cared much about them. I still really don't. I just saw these media apps as a way for the 'popular' girls to show off their bodies and get even more boys to drool over them. Very shallow. 

I got rid of Facebook years ago but I can't stand the drama. Nor do I care to share every moment of my life with people I've seen in years. It's easy for me to close the app and do something else. I know what life was like before.

I can't even imagine how hard it must be to grow up with this stuff. It's normal for the kids growing up now. They use iPads in school now. They don't ever get a break. No time to sit alone with their minds. 

Likes are what validates them. Engagements on their posts are how they socialize. I saw something, somewhere, I wish I could recall where but it called Gen Z the 'loneliest generation' and I can fully believe that. I've taught in schools and seen how they interact. 

What scares me is the fact that social media is created to keep you on the app, keep you scrolling so you can see more ads and buy something. We all know this by now. What's scary is the fact that on apps like Twitter or Facebook, they will even cater to your political views. If you don't want to see what the other side has to say then you don't have to. We have never been more divided in our views than today. Part of that is because of what we see on social media. I see all the time things like - every Republican hates the LGBT and wants to shoot all black people, whites are the only ones worth anything. Democrats want little girls to get molested in the bathrooms by trans people. They are the real racist ones that want to take away all the guns while letting in illegals who want to take all the jobs!

With all these terrible things being said, no wonder no one wants to reach across the line and shake hands. I can't blame them. This documentary even pointed out that if things keep going the way they are we will be on the way to civil war. I truly believe that will happen if something doesn't change.

Social media can do so much good. Bring us together from all around the world but instead, it seems to be making us more divided and lonely. I have never felt more lonely than I do right now and that's crazy because I get on my phone or laptop and talk to anyone I want anywhere in the world. We have all the information we could ever need at our fingertips and instead of soaking it in. We just 'waste' time scrolling through photos of what our friends and family ate that day. Outfits of the day or that my friend went to the store to get taco seasoning.

In this documentary, they talk about these companies needing regulations. See people as people and not just money machines. I agree with that. Something has to be done before the world just tears itself apart. Before we tear each other apart. We have to see that there is a person behind that screen before it's too late. 

"We are more profitable to a corporation if we're spending time staring at a screen, staring at an ad, then if we're spending that time living our life in a rich way." - Direct quote