Day or night, there’s just one thing on our minds all the time – social media without realising how it is impacting us.

The Social Dilemma, a documentary on Netflix, takes us behind the scenes of social media. The insightful and much-needed documentary brings together a bunch of Silicon Valley geniuses who once helped establish and perpetuate habits of internet across the globe.

Here are a few things we learned from the film, that everyone should definitely watch.

1. While we think that Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms are just for our entertainment, the business model of these companies is based on keeping us engaged on our screens.

2. The content that we assume available for free on the Internet, is actually being paid for by the advertisers. They pay for our attention and make money from that.

3. While most of us think that our data is being sold, it’s not. These companies use our data to make models. More the data, more accurate is the model. And the company that builds the best model, wins.

According to a former Twitter Executive, everything that we are doing online is being watched, tracked and measured. 

4. When we communicate with our friends on the internet, it’s always a sneaky third person who is paying to manipulate us.

5. The internet works by building technology out of the psychology of an individual. Every time we look at the screen we know that there’s something waiting for us. And here lies the key.

Here, lies the key. The key to modifying our behaviour by offering positive reinforcement.

6. The emails that we receive when our friends tag us in photos on Facebook, are aimed at growing activity on their platforms.

7. Oh, and that typing… thing that we see when the other person is replying to our comment, is to keep us engaged and not lose us.

8. There’s an entire field of study known as ‘growth hacking’ to delve into human minds and their psychology for business.

9. Even experts who build all this technology get addicted to it.

10. We have a constant urge to connect with people, and a vehicle like social media that optimizes this connection, gets us addicted.

11. Humans did not evolve to get social approval from ten thousands of people every 5 minutes. But apparently, we have curated our lives around this perceived sense of perfection.

It’s a vicious cycle we are getting into.

12. Gen Z, those who were born after 1996 or so, have been the worst affected by the use of internet and social media. 

This generation is the first in history to get on their phones while in middle school. The rate of these kids obtaining driving licenses or experiencing any kind of romantic interaction is dropping rapidly.

You’d say we already knew all of this, but yes, hearing it from the minds behind that revolutionary technology does pinch a little harder as we watch it while scrolling on our feeds.