What ‘The Social Dilemma’ misunderstands about social networks

I. A dilemma

On Sunday evening, after being inspired to by family and friends, I hit play on a brand new documentary about our digital lives. Directed by Jeff Orlowski, The Social Dilemma explores the impact of smartphones and social networks on human conduct. Mixing talking-head interviews with some well-known Silicon Valley apostates and fictional, after-school special-style dramatizations of what occurs when Johnny and Janey scroll by way of feeds all day, the movie presents itself as an pressing warning about our fashionable situation.

I’m greater than a little bit sympathetic to those issues. I began writing this text in 2017 after coming to the belated realization that social networks actually did have an outsized affect on fashionable life, and…

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