I never got to watching “The Social Dilemma”, so I thought I would take the time and watch it, since the social part of the internet has had a pretty big impact on my life and my students’ lives. Sometimes in a good way. However, it has also caused some problems.
I appreciated the fact that this movie included people who worked for some pretty big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. It was important to realize that even those who worked directly with social media companies were concerned about the way these platforms had such an impact on people and took a path that they weren’t really anticipating. I also enjoyed how they added stories into this documentary to give you examples of how we are affected. Even though this movie showed mostly the negative impact of technology and Web 2.0 on the world, I want to start with some positives.
Positive Impacts of The Social Web
Lourdes, Ummey, and Shivali did a great job explaining Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. Since Web 2.0 is considered the social web,I like to think Web 2.0 was made with only good intentions. Like “The Social Dilemma” explains- liking posts, tagging people, and commenting- were all made to connect and spread positivity. Technology is powerful and those who started social media andWweb 2.0 didn’t know that it would…. get to how it is now.
- More communication with those around the world
- More collaboration and networking
- Easier usage of the internet and better search engines
- More learning and knowledge building
Negative Impacts of The Social Web
The Social Dilemma went much more into detail in the negative of social media. Here are a few that caught my attention
- Social media can cause fake news, influence elections, and cause some pretty big conflicts
- Your every move is monitored- They will figure out your personality, likes, dislikes, and even emotions so they can keep you using your device and feed you advertisements.
- Social media is addicting- Getting that dopamine hit from your phone will cause you to always pick it up when lonely or uncomfortable.
- Platforms just want your money, they don’t care how you are affected. They just want to keep you engaged in any way possible to get money:
“If you are not paying for the product, you are the product”.The Social Dilemma
Impact on Students and Education
I teach middle school, so I don’t see any huge red flags just yet in my classroom when it comes to social media. But I do know how much it can influence and change our students lives:
- Difficulty balancing social media and productivity- I can’t imagine having to monitor this in older grades (And don’t forget about the rabbit hole!)
- Social media digs deep into your brain-self-worth and self-esteem are at risk
- Cyberbullying is a big problem in schools
- Mental health, addiction, and depression are affected negatively.
- Students are not exposed to different points of view since their feed is targeted toward them.
I’m glad I took the time to watch The Social Dilemma. It made me reminisce on the influence the social web had and still has on my life. I appreciated that they were open in knowing that technology is not going the way big tech companies thought it would. Many thought that it would be easy to adapt to technology… but it is advancing much too fast ( and that scares me a bit. (… I mean what even is an NFT?)
Those who teach older grades, how do you monitor social media at school?)
For those who teach younger grades, are your students impacted by social media ( or any tech)?
Thanks for reading!