‘The Social Dilemma’: not an average scary movie



By Emily Delgado, A&E Editor

 “Nothing vast enters the life of a mortal without a curse”- Sophocles 

“The Social Dilemma” should be considered a suspense movie. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. With every introduction of a new social media expert, it got even scarier and sadder. The message behind the Sophocles quote intensifies in the duration of “The Social Dilemma.” 

The new Netflix docu-drama, “The Social Dilemma,” with a mixture of drama, graphics, and haunting music, explains the danger of social media now and in the future. 

Because it opens with the Sophocles quote instead of the classic following someone with a camera opening scene that most documentaries use, anyone watching can already tell that the “The Social Dilemma” is a different documentary. 

The filmmakers sit down with former social media employees — many of whom were in top leadership positions at companies such as Google and Facebook — to discuss their thoughts on the current social media climate not just in the United States, but around the world.

Many of the former tech employees believed they were doing a public service and that social media would help the greater good. Obviously, they don’t think that anymore. 

Never have I seen a documentary that uses a combination of information and drama to depict their message. With the use of a fictional family to personify everything the experts are saying about the dangers of social media, the audience can clearly see how these dangers look. 

The main theme is the growing addiction a person has to their cell phone. In a scene with the family, the mom takes away her kids’ phones and puts them in a locked container in hopes of having a  phone-free family dinner. The minute a notification comes on the youngest daughter’s phone, she acts in a way that could only be described as how a drug addict acts in search of their next dosage. The youngest literally breaks the container with a hammer to get her phone. 

This scene opened my eyes. Even though the comparison of a cell phone addicted teen to a drug addict was not explicitly said, any audience member could see that comparison. It does a great job of depicting the average young teenager when it comes to their relationship with their phone.

At the beginning of the documentary, the experts talk about the business side of social media. I don’t think anyone who actively uses social media on a daily basis thinks or is aware of the business side of social media. The filmmakers paint a very haunting picture of how social media companies control us. 

There is a “supercomputer” whose sole job is to make sure we are on our cell phones and actively on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube. It sends us videos, ads and friend requests that are meant to keep us stuck on our electronic devices 

I was shocked because I have never thought about my phone that way. We all just effortlessly pick up our phone the minute we wake up — it is not even a choice; we just naturally do it. Not only did “The Social Dilemma” make me fear my phone the day after I watched it but it pointed out things that are relevant today.

With the help of flashing news clips and ominous music, “The Social Dilemma” shows the dangers of fake news, which is specifically rising recently and polarizing the country. Many of the former employees predict a civil war in the future. 

“The Social Dilemma” created a much-needed distance from me and my phone; I was completely engaged and I didn’t want to miss a thing.

“The Social Dilemma” does beyond a great job to teach and warn. For a total of an hour and thirty minutes, I guarantee you, you will not want to get up or move from your seat.