Art And Culture: ‘The Social Dilemma’ Removes Silence

  • Mihir Pandya, Writing on Cinematography, Assistant Professor at Delhi University

At the very beginning of the film ‘The Social Dilemma’, Tristan Harris reminds of the old lesson of the market-based economy – if you are not being charged for a good or service, then let’s assume that you have turned into that commodity yourself, not the consumer. which is being sold. Applying this lesson in the context of social media services like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter today, it is actually a mistake to consider ourselves ‘consumers’ of these services.

The truth is that what is actually being sold by these seemingly free services is the concentrated time of our so-called ‘consumers’, which has been completely occupied. Documentary film director Jeff Orlovsky’s ‘The Social Dilemma’ explains how this capture succeeded in the past ten or twelve years with the advent of handheld smartphones and social media sites on them.

We now know how social media can skillfully reinforce our preconceived assertions and beliefs in our own interest, even if they are factually incorrect. Yet the way the film presents the working math of this virtual world in a simple over-the-top narrative is very effective and easy to understand.

In addition to using the traditional one-to-camera interview mode of documentary film, ‘The Social Dilemma’ also creates a generic fictional nuclear family to illustrate its point. On the one hand, here are interviews of technocrats working in social media companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter to explain the manipulation of human mind by algorithms. On the other hand, the disintegration of a fictitious nuclear family due to constant manipulation is threaded in the middle of the story.

‘The Social Dilemma’ is not just a warning about the future. It is about the present leaving our hands. This is even more true of India as a developing third world, especially as a democratic country full of diversity. how? You will understand this better by watching the film.