Discussion: The social dilemma - the new Netflix showhttps://www.thesocialdilemma.com

HannahBaldovino's profile thumbnail
Hey great post,Norelle! When I first watched it, I actually stayed off social media for about 2 weeks because I wanted to see what it felt like. It was interesting because I just ended up scrolling through other apps in the same manner. Thank you for also bringing up the intention piece because that makes sense. The movie made it seem super evil when realistically most people just wanted to make a positive impact. With any new movement there’s both good and bad.
lirida's profile thumbnail
I found it a bit dramatic too. There're so many things out there, that when not done in moderation can become addictive. But I think this documentary brought some awareness at a larger scale and hopefully people will be more cautious of how they spend their time. As a user, I appreciate when I'm advertised things that are useful and I was actually looking for. I always find it challenging to shop for clothes that fit my preferences and through the ads I found out great brands that otherwise I wouldn't have. I did a "social media cleanse" 3 years ago when I noticed it was eating up too much of my time, then came back to it because that's how I keep in touch with my family and professional network. I agree that most engineers that work on these think they are actually helping the users. It's hard to make a generalization, it's the decision of each person and it depends on the kind of product. I've stayed away from working on products that I think waste users' time (for example: Netflix), but someone else might find them as entertaining.
lsheehy's profile thumbnail
As someone who works in the industry, I thought that the dramatics were a bit funny but I do think that the average consumer of technology and media SHOULD at least be aware that their data is being used for advertising. A lot of people don't understand the concept of 'if the product is free, you are the product' that a lot of tech companies operate off of. Media has always been an advertising game, access to big data just makes it that much more efficient.My one big concern overall is the addictive loops that people are not aware of. Phones have really become an extension of our thoughts without us even realizing it. Elon Musk (I know controversial :/ ) had a good line about how we're already cyborgs and the only difference in embedding technology into our brains is latency. We're still using the internet as an extension of our thoughts and experiences. Thought that was a pretty interesting take ^
maggiewolff's profile thumbnail
I'm currently in a masters of data science program, and one thing that bothers me about my program is how little time is spent discussing ethical issues related to our industry. Sometimes a professor will show a slide about biased data, but that's typically it. I think we have a responsibility to be aware of how our work can control or manipulate people and how it can be used for nefarious reasons. Even if you are trying your best to do ethical work, we've seen how easy it is for others to compromise these platforms for their unethical purposes, so we also need to be trying to engineer against stuff like that happening as well. There are no easy or quick answers but at the very least, the people and institutions that are providing education in this area need to do a better job of making the next generation aware of all of these things.
emmamyrth's profile thumbnail
Myrth works right at the meeting point of tech and wellness. We had mixed feelings about it. https://www.getmyrth.com/myrthblog/the-social-dilemma-a-commentary