The Social Dilemma: Review + Learn

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If you’re looking for an interesting documentary that probably impacts your life heavily, The Social Dilemma is it. The film won’t bore you, yet will give you lots of valuable information.

Sometimes understanding technology more deeply can be confusing, but the documentary breaks it down.

The Social Dilemma primarily covers the concerns regarding social network platforms, which you most likely use on a day-to-day basis.

If you just want to know key information from the documentary, read below to learn some of the most interesting findings and facts. This is not just a movie rating review but a review of important parts to learn from the movie.

Disclaimer: If you haven’t seen the movie, this post includes spoilers and a lot of content reviewed from the film. All this information is also gathered directly from the documentary.

If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.

The Social Dilemma


Date: September 9, 2020

Genre: Documentary-drama

Accessibility: Netflix

Who: Tech/social media leaders

What: Social media issues

Interested in more ethical aspects of technology? Check out

Below you’ll find lessons learned and more information from the movie.

What’s the Problem with Social Networks?

  • Addiction 
  • Can literally isolate oneself
  • Fake news with consequences/ misinformation
  • Cyberattacks
  • Mental health/ depression
  • Impacts politics negatively

Facts that Weighed Heavy

These networks are competing for your attention.

We now have markets that trade in human futures very largly.

Internet companies are the richest companies in history.

Online connection has become principal.

Artificial intelligence is only going to get better.

Snapchat dysmorphia: patients wanting plastic surgery to look more like filters.

Understand Better: Data

We know data plays a huge role in this industry and its success. But what exactly does that mean? The film goes over a few pieces of data that these networks collect and use.

  • What image you’re looking at and for how long
    • Know everything: personality type, at night or day, introvert or extrovert, location
  • Who’s tagging each other 
  • What does Facebook do with that data?
    • They build models that predict our actions
    • Whoever has the best model wins

Why are They Doing All This? 3 Main Goals:

  1. Engagement goal
  2. Growth goal
  3. Advertising goal – make as much money as possible from ads

For more on tech and business see Artificial Intelligence in Business.

Social Networks: Benefits & Concerns


While it may be hard to believe, social networks do have some form of benefits.

  • Connects us
  • Information and learning is accessible
  • Outreach for getting help – GoFundMe, organ donors, etc.
  • Networking 
  • Different perspectives
  • Job finding/advertising


  • Dopamine (a neurotransmitter) deficit states
  • Sense of perfection
  • Disturbs families, parents 
  • Personal and political polarization – more divided than ever
  • Messes up democracy
  • AI can’t solve fake news
    • What’s the truth?
  • Platforms should be responsible for: mental health, elections they’re messing up, etc.

Who Should Watch The Social Dilemma?

If you want a documentary that’s filled with drama and shocking relevant facts. If you want to learn about the dangers surrounding what you’re probably constantly engaged in – social networks.

Sometimes it’s difficult to understand issues revolving around tech because of all the jargon, so this is a great way to understand.

It can be interesting to both children and adults, although if you’re sensitive to being too cautious, this movie could make one paranoid about social media.

3 Things I Like

  • How entertaining the documentary is: shocking quotes, interesting facts, etc.
  • How they make technical stuff understandable: algorithms, AI, data, etc.
  • The credibility of the sources: Tristan Harris, Jaron Lanier, etc.

3 Things I Dislike

  • The frightening of social media
  • The controversy
  • Only on Netflix

Adjectives Describing The Social Dilemma

Insightful, important, potent, relevant, thought-provoking, powerful, dramatic, revealing,…

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