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The Social Dilemma

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
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It's on Netflix. A documentary on the rise and effects of big tech and social media companies on the human condition.

It's really quite good. Some of the dramatizations are a bit hokey but they get the points across ok enough for the masses. What's really interesting are the interviewees.

It's just the future of humanity at stake. I'd like to think it's at least a little bit alarmist but when I stop and think about some current events, it's really not that far off unfortunately.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
103,527
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I've disliked all of it from the dawn of IM and even SMS. My mind has never changed about what it means....it's actually become way worse than I imagined then (I just assumed it would lead to disassociated humans unable to honestly communicate with each other through normal, long-evolved human means--even before Myspace and such, I didn't realize it would become its own direct social-engineering psy-ops vehicle).
 

overst33r

Diamond Member
Oct 3, 2004
5,764
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I've disliked all of it from the dawn of IM and even SMS. My mind has never changed about what it means....it's actually become way worse than I imagined then (I just assumed it would lead to disassociated humans unable to honestly communicate with each other through normal, long-evolved human means--even before Myspace and such, I didn't realize it would become its own direct social-engineering psy-ops vehicle).
People said the same thing when the telephone was invented. Not that far off...
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
30,933
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Will check it out. I've never really like social media, but i find texting useful.
 

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
26,053
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The drama was way over the top. The part about the teenager worried about her elephant ears was stupid because it is no different than a person saying that to her face. The part about kids putting way too much importance on the value of likes/views though is something that every parent needs to get in front of. And then, of course, we see the consequences of the targeted feeds on gullible people all around us.
 

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
7,559
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The part about the teenager worried about her elephant ears was stupid because it is no different than a person saying that to her face.
I thought that was relevant. People get more balls behind a keyboard than they do in person. I could totally see social media adding to already existing in person digs and comments and body shaming.
 
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Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
29,492
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Is bullying legal?
If not... there should be consequences for such actions.

Teens being unstable is not the primary issue with social media. It is group-think and confirmation bias resulting in hyper partisanship. It is random and unfiltered information being taken the freaking gospel by the average person. It is the human brain's inability to process this information without actual harm to both oneself and society at large.

It takes a huckster like Alex Jones and makes him Legend. Humans spread diseases of the mind online. We have not yet evolved or adapted to handle this !@#$.
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
30,933
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I thought that was relevant. People get more balls behind a keyboard than they do in person. I could totally see social media adding to already existing in person digs and comments and body shaming.
The drama piece tied directly with the drastic increase in mental health problems and suicides for the tween groups and late teens. Very relevant.
 
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Nov 8, 2012
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I've disliked all of it from the dawn of IM and even SMS. My mind has never changed about what it means....it's actually become way worse than I imagined then (I just assumed it would lead to disassociated humans unable to honestly communicate with each other through normal, long-evolved human means--even before Myspace and such, I didn't realize it would become its own direct social-engineering psy-ops vehicle).
How is an internet forum really all that different though?


Really, the social dilemma just shows how emotionally fragile our kids have become.

As it mentions in the documentary, suicide amongst girls and teenage-girls has spiked dramatically.

For the love of fuck - stop giving your kids tablets to sit in their room for hours on end taking selfies and hoping for interwebz approval of oneself. Go the fuck outside and play with a neighbor's kid down the road. Ride a bike. Play basketball. Hell, go ring some neighbors doorbells and run away... Anything is better than worrying about what so-and-so is saying online.


To quote George Carlin a very relevant point...

George Carlin:
Now, speaking of parents and speaking of bullshit, two ideas that aren't always mutually exclusive, by the way, I'd like to mention a special kind of bullshit that has taken hold in this country in the last thirty to forty years. It's a form of bullshit that really can only be called "child worship". It's child worship. It's this excessive devotion to children.

George Carlin:
I'm talking about today's professional parents, these obsessive diaper sniffers who are overscheduling and overmanaging their children and robbing them of their childhoods.

George Carlin:
Even the simple act of playing has been taken away from children, and put on mommy's schedule in the form of "play dates". Something that should be spontaneous and free is now being rigidly planned. When does a kid ever get to sit in the yard with a stick anymore?

George Carlin:
You know? Just sit there with a f***ing stick. Do today's kids even know what a stick is?

George Carlin:
You sit in the yard with a f***ing stick... and you dig a f***ing hole. You know?

George Carlin:
And you look at the hole, and you look at the stick... and you have a little fun. But kids don't have sticks anymore. I don't think there are any sticks left; I think they've all be recalled because of lead paint!

George Carlin:
Who would have thought that one day, the manufacturing of sticks would outsourced to China?
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
60,951
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It's a bad feedback loop. FOMO drives people to stay online more. Which exposes them to more things that kill their self esteem or mental health. Digital well being is just barely a blip on the overall health radar.
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
60,951
4,481
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Really, the social dilemma just shows how emotionally fragile.

As it mentions in the documentary, suicide amongst girls and teenage-girls has spiked dramatically.

For the love of fuck - stop giving your kids tablets to sit in their room for hours on end taking selfies and hoping for interwebz approval of oneself. Go the fuck outside and play with a neighbor's kid down the road. Ride a bike. Play basketball. Hell, go ring some neighbors doorbells and run away... Anything is better than worrying about what so-and-so is saying online.
It's not that simple. I have a 12 year old.

I put a "Circle" device in my house that's basically a spoof Wifi spot that I can block stuff like youtube or put off limit times. My oldest learned that she can just turn off her wifi and switch to cellular and hotspot to a chrome book at 3am and run through 8 gig of data streaming youtube.

So then I put a restriction on her phone that locked it down. She learned that she could sign into her phone with her school account and bypass that.

I can't lock down youtube now because we are doing e-learning and there's multiple youtube assignments that they have to watch.

If you send kids out to ring doorbells you just end up getting pictures of your kids posted to nextdoor neighborhood appswith people with security cameras on their front porch.

So yeah.

Have fun when your kids are older.

And FWIW, my kids bike between 30 and 40 miles a week with me.
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
30,933
9,717
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How is an internet forum really all that different though?


Really, the social dilemma just shows how emotionally fragile our kids have become.

As it mentions in the documentary, suicide amongst girls and teenage-girls has spiked dramatically.

For the love of fuck - stop giving your kids tablets to sit in their room for hours on end taking selfies and hoping for interwebz approval of oneself. Go the fuck outside and play with a neighbor's kid down the road. Ride a bike. Play basketball. Hell, go ring some neighbors doorbells and run away... Anything is better than worrying about what so-and-so is saying online.


To quote George Carlin a very relevant point...
You obviously didn't watch it.
 
Nov 8, 2012
17,643
3,411
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It's not that simple. I have a 12 year old.

I put a "Circle" device in my house that's basically a spoof Wifi spot that I can block stuff like youtube or put off limit times. My oldest learned that she can just turn off her wifi and switch to cellular and hotspot to a chrome book at 3am and run through 8 gig of data streaming youtube.

So then I put a restriction on her phone that locked it down. She learned that she could sign into her phone with her school account and bypass that.

I can't lock down youtube now because we are doing e-learning and there's multiple youtube assignments that they have to watch.

If you send kids out to ring doorbells you just end up getting pictures of your kids posted to nextdoor neighborhood appswith people with security cameras on their front porch.

So yeah.

Have fun when your kids are older.

And FWIW, my kids bike between 30 and 40 miles a week with me.
I never indicated it was simple.

But there are plenty of options available.

I had a boss that swore by his method where he has.. 3 decently older girls (I think 13 - 18). Every single night they would go up and collect their smartphone. Obviously it's kind of hard to YouTube and Social media binge all-night if you don't have a device. They also just in general kept them busy during the day with sports and other school commitments.

Another option is to never give them a smartphone to begin with - or at least until they are significantly older and have a real purpose for it.

Hell, if my kids need YouTube for school work then they can just watch it on the Samsung TV in the living room. If they need to do school work/research they can use a desktop that we keep in an open area with social media blocked.
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
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We do end up collecting devices. Hell I have to round up consoles because I've caught both of my kids up in the middle of the night sneaking into the living room to binge on shit at 3am on a school night. It's exhausting. Some nights you just forget because we are human the entire concept of having to go draconian on electronics is stupid in the first place.

But just wait. You'll understand the addiction and the lengths kids will go to get their fix.
 
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vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
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As far as smart phones go, there's a balance. I pay like $43 a month for my daughter and I to be on a Google Fi account. With Covid it's really her only way to communicate with friends and family. They skype, send gifs, play games. Whatever. There's a balance. But it is a legit addiction. Even if you practice moderation and try to enforce it, like an addict they will seek more and more and more and go great lengths to get it.
 
Nov 8, 2012
17,643
3,411
126
We do end up collecting devices. Hell I have to round up consoles because I've caught both of my kids up in the middle of the night sneaking into the living room to binge on shit at 3am on a school night. It's exhausting. Some nights you just forget because we are human the entire concept of having to go draconian on electronics is stupid in the first place.

But just wait. You'll understand the addiction and the lengths kids will go to get their fix.
Oh I understand how addictive things are. Millennials are probably the worst generation for this because they grew up when these addictive things were just taking off - and the parents had no clue because they weren't up to speed with "the interwebz" in general.

But as technology has advanced, plenty of options have also advanced to try to combat these things. You mentioned some yourself.

Hell if my kid wanted to sneak out to play videogames at night I wouldn't hesitate to put an alarm on their bedroom door that goes off if opened during the night.
 

MtnMan

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2004
4,299
2,248
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My grandson just had his truck totaled because a 16 year-old twit twat ran a red-light and t-boned him, she got her license less than 2 months ago. He's fine, truck not so much.

Because no one was injured, cops didn't pursue phone use. Running the red-light is enough to put all the blame on her.
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
60,951
4,481
126
Oh I understand how addictive things are. Millennials are probably the worst generation for this because they grew up when these addictive things were just taking off - and the parents had no clue because they weren't up to speed with "the interwebz" in general.

But as technology has advanced, plenty of options have also advanced to try to combat these things. You mentioned some yourself.

Hell if my kid wanted to sneak out to play videogames at night I wouldn't hesitate to put an alarm on their bedroom door that goes off if opened during the night.
And good luck with that. They'll just disable it. Again, we're fighting a battle that's much bigger than us and draconian policy isn't going to fix it.
 

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
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and half the problems this documentary talks about have to do with go beyond kids. Misinformation that targets adult populations and voters, etc..
 
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SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,026
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It is random and unfiltered information being taken the freaking gospel by the average person.
Actually, the real problem is that it is not random at all. The social media platforms has put an inordinate amount of work on their algorithms to create feeds of things that reinforce your preexisting biases. The system learns what you like and gives you more of it. As you see more of something you become more sure of it's truth. It is well intentioned in that they intend to make the social media into something you like, and we like being told we are right. But it turns out making a powerful multimedia tool into a confirmation bias machine creates a disastrous feedback loop. Who would have thought that an electronic yes man could be so bad?
 
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MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
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Actually, the real problem is that it is not random at all. The social media platforms has put an inordinate amount of work on their algorithms to create feeds of things that reinforce your preexisting biases. The system learns what you like and gives you more of it. As you see more of something you become more sure of it's truth. It is well intentioned in that they intend to make the social media into something you like, and we like being told we are right. But it turns out making a powerful multimedia tool into a confirmation bias machine creates a disastrous feedback loop. Who would have thought that an electronic yes man could be so bad?
not only that but bad actors can buy into that data to accurately target misinformation at the most vulnerable, for example.
 
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dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
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I thought that was relevant. People get more balls behind a keyboard than they do in person. I could totally see social media adding to already existing in person digs and comments and body shaming.
You aren't wrong, I was just pointing out that the example wasn't exclusive to social media. The ears comment actually came off to me not as nasty but as a friendly ribbing not intended to be malicious. Of course, we all know how things like that can be taken the wrong way by people on the receiving end. It is true though, online bullying is often much more brutal for the reasons you mention.
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
30,933
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And good luck with that. They'll just disable it. Again, we're fighting a battle that's much bigger than us and draconian policy isn't going to fix it.
haha, you're "debating" with a guy who has all the answers. He's gonna lock his kids in a steel cage cuz his house his rules!

Educating your children is the only way to do this. Following a set of rules is what to do. The end of the documentary has the same people being interviewed providing what their tactics are. Notice, nobody is alarming bed room doors or chaining their kids up.

Get your kids experience with other things. For instance, my kids wanted a new mouse and keyboard for their birthdays. $100 bucks for both? Hell no. I offered a new pair of inline skates instead. I'll encourage exercise and fun over screen time as much as possible, that's my take on it. You gotta get out there with them too, much like yourself.

I also don't have any social media accounts except this, it's as close as I come. The difference is it's a web page. there's no push notifications involved, it doesn't chime at me to come say hi, notify me of messages. It serves me, when I want it.
 

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