Netflix Documentary The Social Dilemma about the doom and gloom of Big Tech, was on my watchlist. On 9 September 2020, the film was finally available on Netflix, and clear to me is that director Jeff Orlowski will make his impact on humanity again.
Opinions on Orlowski’s recent docu might differ. But the filmmaker certainly has a purpose or True North Star. In his 2012 film Chasing Ice, he captured the devastating effects of climate change on melting glaciers. In 2017, Orlowski launched Chasing Coral about the erosion of our coral reefs.
His latest film, The Social Dilemma, takes aim at the hidden dangers of social media and Big Tech.
The Social Dilemma – Documentary-Drama That Might Shock Parents, Politicians & Leaders
Don’t worry. I hate spoilers. So I won’t reveal a lot. The docu starts in the dark underbelly of Silicon Valley almost a decade ago. We see the upcoming social media giants, social networks, and Big Tech players. In a mix of investigative journalism and reality drama, the docu shows testimonies from whistle-blowers who have worked at Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. From Engineers to Chief Revenue Officers.
The movie warns us about social media addiction, teen suicide, fake news, manipulation, privacy, data, ethics, values, morals, and the foundations of our democracy.
Other topics the movie touches? Snapchat dysmorphia, internet lynch mobs, fake news, polarization, propaganda, and censorships. Welcome to the disinformation age.
I also liked the parts about: Our elections are getting hacked, greed, social conscience, and markets that trade human futures at scale.
Never before in history have 50 designers made decisions that would have an impact on two billion people says Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google. One of the firestarters back in the days.
The Social Dilemma Really Misses Out On Huge Future Threats
I like The Social Dilemma in many ways. But I must admit, it missed out on showing the true sense of urgency and future impact. How about the role of Donald Trump, the US elections, and its aftermath? The guy ironically used Twitter to complain about Big Tech.
For example, it didn’t give authoritative futurists or philosophers like Yuval Noah Harari with his future vision in the Financial Times.
Orlowski also missed out on scoping the future. How about showing us some flashes of Ready Player One? The Steven Spielberg movie about the future of social networking and virtual worlds. Ready Player One originates from the 2011 sci-fi debut novel of American author Ernest Cline.
A story that sparks imagination and transformation. A must-see for everyone in marketing, media, and tech.
Also, I feel that The Social Dilemma and its makers missed out on the Cambridge Analytica – Facebook scandal. Orlowski and team, could have emphasized the largest scandal of this century. Or should I say: should?
In 2018, I wrote this story Sex, Secrets & Spies. About repeat offender Mark Zuckerberg, his lack of morals, and the fact that he belongs in prison. Since that article launched, I’m on the Facebook blacklist or blocklist as a keynote speaker.
Or maybe it’s because I keep warning global entrepreneurs, marketers, DJ’s and celebrities in my talks and stories. I’ve spoken about FANS ON LEASE many times.
Facebook squeezes the organic reach of the socially famous to 1-2%. Meaning, you don’t own your fans.
And Zuckerberg’s morals and ethics should be clear by now. He started with stealing The Facebook! Remember the movie The Social Network?
In 2008, the Winklevoss twins settled for $65 million in a case where they sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their ConnectU idea to create Facebook in 2004.
The Social Dilemma Follow Up? Industry4.0, G-MAFIA, and Humanity vs. Technology
In my future vision, The Social Dilemma should have a follow-up movie. One that takes us under the hood of Industry4.0. A movie that shows us the future. Where Big Tech players are taking exponential technologies beyond screens. How smart cities, could even be more intrusive for our privacy if we keep dreaming on.
Some storyboards or scripts for the follow-up movie I would love to see?
Exponential technologies versus our linear minds. The Facebook hearings revealed the complete incompetence of governments and politicians. Can you imagine when 50 exponential under the hood of Industry4.0 will hit us? Can you imagine what will happen next?
Big Tech players should be monitored. Like Scott Galloway has mentioned over and over again. He also spoke about breaking up Big Tech.
When will we finally start listening? And come up with new laws to protect humanity…
Coming 20 years, humanity will change more than the previous 300 years. And we need imagination to spark transformation. We need a future vision and new laws now.
I understand that ethics and morals around the globe are depending on a mix of religion, social upbringing, IQ, education, and local/regional concepts of right and wrong behavior.
However, the sense of urgency seems clear to us all now, I hope? Social networks are already connecting 2 billion people and technology will be morphing all around us coming decades.
We as “social media and tech users” should also make sure that technology will help us to control our Big Tech players and our governments.
If I look at the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer our trust in brands, media, politics, and leaders is at an all-time low.
Snapchat dysmorphia, social media addiction, teen depression and suicide? Topics that every parent should know about.
So, I hope you will watch The Social Dilemma. Maybe even with your screenagers?
And I love to hear your opinion.
About the Author
In the spotlights, Igor Beuker is a professional public speaker and futurist known for his foresight on trends and technologies that impact business, economy, and society. Behind the scenes, a social entrepreneur with 5 exits and angel investments in 24 social startups, an award-winning marketing strategist for brands like Amazon, L’Oréal, Nike and Unilever, and a new breed trendwatcher for Fortune 500s, WEF, and the EU.