“The Social Dilemma” Review

Netflix

Matt O'Leary, Staff Writer

Intro: My name is Matthew O’Leary, and I’ll be writing music and film reviews for the Bulldawg Bulletin this school year. For my review system, rather than writing something like “four stars out five”, I will use letter grades. I’m open to recommendations, and I hope that I can give you helpful reviews for what to listen to or watch next. 

Review: Jeff Orlowski’s “The Social Dilemma” is definitely worth the watch and possibly the most important documentary released so far this year. Orlowski analyzes the digital world of social media that we immerse ourselves in from financial, psychological and social perspectives. The former employees of major internet companies and academics who were interviewed in The Social Dilemma offered detailed, engaging information that forces viewers to think introspectively about the role the internet plays in their lives. Impactful quotes and eye-catching visuals make for powerful transitions when the documentary changes topics. Orlowski also succeeds in scaring the audience with his portrayal of social-media addicted teenagers going on a legal and emotional downward spiral. A notable weakness of the documentary is that it strays from its original argument towards the end by focusing on politics, however, the connections it made between a global rise in nationalism and the increasing use of social-media were intriguing. Orlowski not only makes us question the social-media business but also our cultural identity, especially for the millennial and Gen Z demographics. Even though “The Social Dilemma” doesn’t introduce any groundbreaking new information, it’s a powerful call to action against willful ignorance. Overall, Orlwoski’s “The Social Dilemma” deserves an A-.