This is a documentary I was recommended to watch from a friend of mine, ironically she told me over snapchat but she told me it changed the way in which she thought about social media and I was intrigued from there.
What this documentary tells you is how different social media apps all try to get you to look at specific things for them to essentially sell you as a profit to the highest bidder. I know this might be a bit confusing to understand but after watching the documentary I have come to understand it a little bit better. You, as a social media user, are using a platform and that platform wants to make as much money as possible off it (Obviously). The best way that they can do that is by showing you ads in which a company has paid a certain amount to be shown to people who might buy that product. So the social media app has taken all your information, seen the people you hang around with and have tagged in picture, everything you have ever liked, shared, retweeted and then shown you an ad that you might like. If you click on this ad then the social media platform will get money and if you buy something from the ad then the company you have just bought from are more likely to buy more ad space on that social media platform.
For me this is sort of scary, with just how much information that some computer has got on you from you simply likely a friend’s picture or retweeting a funny tweet and then with AI the social media platform is able to tell what kind of person you are.
I love the fact that they haven’t just used some random people who claim to know who certain platforms work. They have gotten people who have worked in the company, who helped start the company, even had some CEO of those companies come and talk about the dangers in which social media can have.
The other side that the documentary was talking about was how social media has changed the world of politics especially with its use in the 2016 US election. Social media platforms are able to show you different sides of politics or groups depending on what you have been watching or liking on certain platforms. Main examples used in the doc are flat earthers and how there are now more than ever people believing that the earth is flat due to social media groups. Not only that but due to social media, people who really shouldn’t be having a platform, now have one and can have millions of people listen to what they say and even if 1% of them actually listen and are on board with what is being said to them then that is another 10,000+ people who originally wouldn’t be part of that group if social media didn’t give a platform.
I do really like how they have included actors to sort of show the people watching how bad it is in the real world. You have a young girl being cyber bullied due to someone thinking her ears were weird and you could see the damage done by that one comment to the young girl even though she got loads of compliments. They had a young guy who claims he wasnt addicted to social media not even being able to last 3 and a half days without checking his phone and after that break he becomes even more addicted then before. For me it was a real shock to the system.
I think this does a fantastic job in showing people what social media can be and how bad it can be for some people, especially the younger generation. Personally, I think before a parent is willing to allow their child to have a social media account that they should watch this video and just see if they still want to be part of that world. I know that I am going to try and reduce the amount of time used on social media now as it really isn’t a world I want to be part of anymore.