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It likely won’t come as a surprise to you that the big tech giants are harvesting your data and curating your information or maybe it will. If so, strap in for one wild ride as “The Social Dilemma” pulls back the digital curtain and reaffirms that the pursuit of money continues to be the root of all evil.

In format, it’s a curious mix of twee sitcom family wrestling with their addiction to social media interrupted by a seemingly endless parade of silicon valley Frankensteins who, having made their millions in stock options, queue up to deliver sincere but vaguely milquetoast mea culpas as their various monsters run amok.

In a world far too ready to embrace the idea of Machiavellian masterminds orchestrating vast conspiracies, perhaps the most interesting revelation is how dispassionately neutral the algorithms which run social media are. They aren’t designed to divide the truth from the lies or to favour one agenda over the other. They are designed to make money, and they make money by presenting content which we react to and engage with. Joseph De Maistre once said ‘In a democracy, the people end up with the government and leaders they deserve’ and it appears the same holds true for social media, only with the added complication that it would appear that it’s the social media that’s choosing our government and leaders because we’re embracing its ability to bring out the worst in us.

It’s not just on a societal scale that the unfettered access and unchecked avarice of social media are causing potentially irreperalable harm and the documentary focusses on the horrifying individual effects it’s having on every single user, especially younger adults and children. It turns out that commoditising a human being’s attention can have ruinous effects on self-esteem and mental health. Who’d’ve thunk it?

I realise there’s a huge irony in me writing and you reading this post, which I will share across any and every social media platform I have access to but ultimately, this is a documentary worth watching if only to pause and think for a while on how you use social media – and more importantly how it uses you.

The means are entirely mercantile but the ends are easily nefarious and it’s we who are to blame for embracing and entrenching the polarisation which increasingly blights our everyday lives. You are likely not as extreme as your social media wants to make you (because you are more pliant and profitable that way) and you still have a choice to reject the siren song of a forensically curated echo chamber. Unfortunately, it’s on that exact point the documentary falls short.

It’s full of people telling you how sorry they are that their life’s work has ended up prostituting your attention to the highest bidder but conspicuously short on those same people telling you how to inoculate yourself against the pecunia ex machina or at least curtail and control its reach into your life and relegates any advice in that regard to playing over the opening credits, by which time Netflix itself is already offering you a buffet of alternative options for your dwindling attention span.

It’s a bleary, screen-strained eye-opener of a documentary but it’s more likely to preach to the choir than convert many sceptics or the oblivious but maybe, just maybe, it’ll start a few people thinking and changing how they interact with all those digital services mining their lives for money.