The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm

The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm

The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm


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Social Dilemma Review

The Dangerous Human Impact Of Social Media

In the documentary, The Social Dilemma, Jeff Orlowski uncovers a hair-rising perspective on technology and its use for manipulation on users. Former creators and presidents of these media companies spoke about the effects on our human psychology. 

As users become an easy target for propaganda and advertising, these companies continue to modify their products to keep people online for as long as they can in order to rack up money and learn more about their users. In order for this to happen, these sites have created algorithms to track users’ engagement time. This benefits these companies by increasing their growth and advertising. In short, the attention and entertainment from social media is the profit of big corporations.

This documentary also goes into shocking detail about how the creators of these companies worry about users falling into addiction of social media and technology. Time Kendall, CEO of Moment; Former Director of Monetization at Facebook; Former President of Pinterest, spoke about his struggle of addiction to Pinterest, saying that he “fell into the prey” that he created. Social media has become a drug that optimizes peoples’ need for connection and socialization, but this has created a problem in children as well. 

Using social media as a source to find approval and identity, studies showed that Gen Z, the first generation in history to grow up with this new technology, have increased cases of depression and anxiety after technology was created. The documentary includes a graph of data collected about the climbing rates of suicide and depression. Feeling the need to fit in socially and look like unrealistic beauty ideals have demolished kids’ self-worth; therefore, it has not benefited people as the “like-button” intended to. 

On the other hand, companies hold the power to shift focus and change one’s brain’s suggestibility. The malleability of the brain gives social media the advantage to use one’s human psychology against itself. Social media has its own goals and its own means of pursuing users and it can modify the behavior without ever triggering the user. Nevertheless, companies create systems that bias toward false information because it makes more money than the truth. This problem worries the interviewees of people’s malleable minds.  

Despite the dark side of social media and its growth, the interviewees mention their optimism about social media changing for the better far in the future. Hope will not fade, although it will take time. I feel skeptical about the end result of social media in the next decade, but hopefully, future generations can learn and change social media and its effects on the human brain and society. 

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About the Contributor
Celeste Olivarez
Hi, my name is Celeste and this is my third year being on staff! I am an editor for the Newspaper, and I enjoy doing my part. I have made some really good friends in Newspaper. I also involved in Executive Council, PALS, NHS, and Superintendent Ambassadors.