Social media: We are puppets. Especially our kids – Netflix documentary

37 days ago

We're all puppets to secret algorithms of breathtakingly profitable companies such as Facebook and TikTok, argues the producers of “The Social Dilemma”, a hit documentary on Netflix.

Almost five billion people are online – many spend more time on social media than they do with people actually in their presence.

We are barrelling into a future as lab rats in a social experiment of unapparelled importance.

In “The Social Dilemma”, former senior executives blow the whistle on what has become some of the powerful companies ever founded, revealing their true motivations.

It tells how social media is fostering extremism and driving children into depression and addiction.

We’ve all become products in the “attention economy”.

“We need to help kids to move from safer to smarter so they can explore and excel,” says Dean McCoubrey, founder of MySociaLife, a digital life skills programme for students.

“Parents want, and society desperately needs, our kids to have an informed and balanced world view, compassion, empathy and the skills of critical thinking.

“An algorithm can swim upstream against these values, feeding us more and more information to keep us glued to our screens.”

Kieno Kammies interviewed McCoubrey.

They own all your data… they serve you what you like, so you stay online. If you stay online, they’re winning… They can only make money if they keep you on their platform… We’re sitting in the middle of a war between large companies…

Dean McCoubrey, founder - MySociaLife

We’re hamsters on a wheel…

Dean McCoubrey, founder - MySociaLife

We’ve got kids of the age of eight that are accessing the entire world! … Nine-year-olds are seeing how 17- and 18-year-olds are behaving… It desensitises the brain. It desensitises you to shock… Young kids are viewing pornography…

Dean McCoubrey, founder - MySociaLife

How do you discern the difference between true and false? … You must understand how much rubbish there is online… This is big stuff!

Dean McCoubrey, founder - MySociaLife

You need to train the students, but also the parents so they can have compassion for their kids… the dares, the challenges, the trends, the hoaxes… We’re trying to forge our way into schools…

Dean McCoubrey, founder - MySociaLife

Listen to the detailed discussion in the audio below.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Social media: We are puppets. Especially our kids – Netflix documentary



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