Technology is completely and utterly disturbing. I don’t want to get all existential on you, but when you sit and really think about it, technology governs literally every aspect of our lives. It sure governs mine, anyway.
We have all had this soft, subtle realization, or, if you’re me, these sudden urges to smash my iPhone on the pavement after realizing I’ve spent 4 hours on Witchtok instead of doing a two page reading. Not to mention, that quarantine just put this existential crisis on blast. I don’t know about any of you, but between Zoom classes and sheer boredom, I was expecting a phone call from the ghost of Steve Job’s past, present and future. It was upsetting the amount of time that I dedicated to organizing my apps and looking at gluten-free recipes on Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to change my ways. I’ve tried the good old-fashioned cleanse. The typical “screw social media, the culture is just too toxic!” and then aggressively deleting every app I own. However, that never lasts long. When you sit and ponder technology, it gets freaky. Using technology to research technology chucks you down the rabbit hole. Once I discovered Elon Musk doesn’t let his kids have phones? Game over. Okay, I don’t know if that is totally accurate, but even that idea freaks me out. One of the smartest men roaming planet Earth right now refuses to confirm to a modern day norm. What does this man know….
So what did I do? I watched a documentary that would only heighten mic concerns and give scientific evidence from experts to prove it. The Social Dilemma on Netflix is a documentary that exposes the harmful effects of social networking from the point of view of the tech-experts that created many of the technologies we rely heavily on today. How disturbing is that? We are all aware that social media has impacted our lives in a multitude of ways, but it becomes even more frightening when you have the creator of the “like” button telling you how his invention messes with your dopamine levels or the CEO of Instagram reassuring you that they have more data on you then you could possibly imagine. I’m not talking about the occasional yoga pants ad that pops up on your feed from that brand you were talking about the other day. No. It’s far worse than that. Social media is so advanced that your phone can track your relationships by evaluating how many milliseconds you spent looking at an ex’s post. It can tell what you are struggling with just by analyzing your search history. It can even determine how you are feeling and show you ads and products accordingly. At its core, social media is a business, simply a transaction where you lose your time and energy and they collect an absurd amount of data and profit off of it. How can that not make you want to delete everything?? And then realize you can’t truly delete anything and then make you want to smash your tablet? I used to scoff at the Amish locals. Blink twice if you want out! I can play you a Clairo song and tell you what oat milk is! No. Little did I know, the Amish community might have it all figured out. In conclusion, I am heavily considering leaving my family behind and venturing westward to pursue a tech-free lifestyle. Oh, and you need to watch the Social Dilemma on Netflix.