What happens behind the screen


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“The Social Dilemma” was released to Netflix Sept. 9th, 2020.

Kelsi Seltenreich, Memorial Staff Writer

On average, teens spend over 50 hours per week on their phones; that is 15 hours more than they’re at school every week. The digital world is eating up more and more time, especially with sites like social media. Netflix’s “The Social Dilemma” sheds light on how social media companies make money and why people are becoming addicted to the platforms.

The documentary-drama hybrid combines stories told by former tech-stars that worked for Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and other major tech/social media companies and a storyline of a family with children Ben (Skyler Gisondo), Cassandra (Kara Hayward) and Isla (Sophia Hammons) that each use their phones differently. Throughout the story the children display sadness, anger, hurt and physical danger all due to their phones. For example, Isla is dangerously addicted to her phone and when it’s locked away from her she uses a hammer to break it out.

The documentary also includes an A.I. which showcases what devices do to make people return to social media sites. But, instead of a small box-shaped device in a room (like real life) it is shown as an intellectual robot. The storylines help paint a picture for the audience and make an emotional connection to the problem.

While most of the information stated in the film has been known for a while, the movie described it in a more serious and concerning form. Through the animations, storyline and real people telling stories it was captivating to watch instead of plain facts, which often don’t receive enough attention.

At the end of the film they urged viewers to delete social media apps or take any small step in the right direction. They said just turning off notifications and not clicking on the recommended YouTube video can be a valuable change.

The film was a good way to show all ages the harm of social media, and how to be careful when using it. Hopefully people will be inspired to make a change for the improvement of society, and for a better future.


Contact Kelsi Seltenreich at [email protected]