WSU The Social Dilemma Netflix Documentary major Technology Platforms Essay

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For Reflection Paper #1 (Due September 29th at 11:59pm), you will be watching “The Social Dilemma,” a Netflix documentary (or, if you can’t access it, you’ll be pouring over the film’s website and reading the reviews). The program has been recently much discussed, but also much criticized. After watching it, consider your own experiences with social media, and how you feel about the arguments set forth. Then choose ONE of the three prompts listed below to write your 500 – 750 word essay. Be sure, in your essay, to give specific examples from the documentary. Please also write your essay using standard essay format (an opening paragraph that includes a thesis statement, several paragraphs providing evidence for your thesis statement’s assertion, and a concluding paragraph). You are not required to use external sources, but if you do, please cite them I the paper and provide a reference list.

  1. “The Social Dilemma” lays out many issues with the structure of social media platforms and people’s uses of them. Do you believe that these platforms will continue to exist 10 or 20 years from now? Why or why not? Are there certain platforms, such as TikTok, Facebook, or Twitter, that you think will remain popular? Why or why not?
  1. The people interviewed in “The Social Dilemma” argue that they designed social media to be addictive for the purpose of selling users’ data to advertisers, and that this model has led to several harmful effects on people and society. Can you think of ways that social media is used that do not align with the addiction/data collection model outlined in the film? For example: During the Black Lives Matter protests over this past summer Twitter and Instagram were used as tools to share critical information with protestors about how to stay safe, and avoid violent conflicts with counter-protestors and law enforcement. These platforms were also used to share resources for those who were arrested during the protests, as well as those who wished to donate funds to the cause. What other examples can you think of in which social media platforms have been used in ways not originally intended by the platforms’ designers?
  1. In the film, ‘The Social Dilemma”, there is a scene that explores what it is like to “disconnect” from social media, and the struggles that come with it. Let’s explore that. If you have a social media account, try to not log into any of your social media accounts for at least 24 hours. Afterwards, please write a reflection paper on your experiences. How did it feel? Were you able to go at least 24 hours? Did you find yourself tempted to log back in during your period of disconnect? When you ended your period of disconnect, what were your thoughts and feelings upon logging back in?

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