Netlfix has been behind several of the best documentary films over the last few years, and the latest feature to get subscribers talking is The Social Dilemma.
The documentary takes a sobering look at an issue that affects most of us: the use of social media, and specifically the dangers it can pose to the millions of people who use it everyday.
Read on for everything you need to know about the documentary.
How to watch The Social Dilemma
If you’re intrigued by the premise then you’ll be glad to know you don’t need to wait to watch it. The Social Dilemma arrived on Netflix on 9th September 2020 having originally debuted at the Sundance Film Festival back in January.
That means if you’ve got a Netflix subscription all you need to do is head to the streaming site and type the title of the doc into the search bat.
What is The Social Dilemma about?
The documentary acknowledges the positive side of social media, but is mainly focused on looking at the negative impact these sites can have on their millions of users, with the film arguing some of these consequences could represent an existential threat to humanity.
It looks at how such a small number of Silicon Valley engineers have such overwhelming control over so many people, and explores viral conspiracy theories, teenage mental health issues, rampant misinformation and political polarisation, using both documentary investigation and narrative drama.
The film also includes interviews with a number high-profile tech whistleblowers and innovation leaders including Tristan Harris of the Center for Humane Technology, Justin Rosenstein, the co-inventor of the Facebook Like button, and Tim Kendall, former President of Pinterest and former Director of Monetisation at Facebook.
The narrative portion of the film, meanwhile, includes Mad Men star Vincent Kartheiser, and seeks to “illuminate the very real consequences these seemingly innocent technologies can have on our everyday lives”.
The Social Dilemma reviews
Since the documentary arrived on Netflix it has had a positive critical reception but has also seen some viewers express their fear at the power of social media.
It has an impressive score of 90 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, with positive reviews from a number of high profile outlets including Variety, the Financial Times and the Hollywood Reporter.
And several Twitter users made it clear just how much the film had affected them, with one describing it as “his favourite Black Mirror episode” and another claimed it “made me want to punt my phone out the window”.
The Social Dilemma trailer
You can watch a trailer to get a taste of what the documentary is all about below:
What to watch next?
There are a number of documentaries from recent years which tackle similar topics to this one if you’re wanting something in the same vein.
Examples include The Great Hack, which documents Cambridge Analytica and is also available on Netflix, or Social Animals which tells of three teenagers growing up on Instagram.
Meanwhile, Werner Herzog’s internet documentary Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World is also well worth a watch and is available to purchase on a range of video on demand platforms.
And if it’s fiction you’re after, there’s always Black Mirror.