After sharing an update on my new book release, I received a comment online that intrigued me.
It was a suggestion to watch a documentary on Netflix called the Social Dilemma.
I was told it would blow my mind… and it did!
This production was suggested due to a strong overlap of themes to my book release, The Invite. In my haste to find out exactly what these might be, I decided to watch it that very same evening.
The first thing I noticed is that the documentary was being presented by original employees from tech giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. I immediately thought this was unusual and so did not expect the content that was to come.
The whole thing was cleverly done and quickly turned from being light-hearted and conversational to deeply disturbing.
The best way I can surmise this unnerving watch, is as a stark diagnosis and warning about our relationship with social media. The content focussed primarily on the sinister psychological methods of social media technologies to manipulate us, the people. We were educated about the use of clever algorithms that learn our behaviours and exploit them to the achieve the goals of the tech companies.
The key message was that we are the product and social media companies will do whatever they can to keep us plugged into their pages.
Without giving too much away, some of the shocking topics discussed included revelations such as how your phone knows what you are looking at, for how long and then feeds you info related to this.
Scarier still, these algorithms conveniently refrain from showing you content that may contradict the opinions/views that you are being spoon-fed. When you factor in that social media sites do very little to filter out fake news, which in fact often enhances consumer engagement with their sites, it is very easy to see how many of us can develop a warped and extreme view of the world.
There are various key messages conveyed throughout the short film, but rather than verging any further into spoiler territory, I will zip my lip there and strongly recommend you give it a watch. https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/81254224
The more engrossed I got into the documentary the more I realised how the content directly mirrored a lot of the dark themes presented in my own book. When you consider my story is fiction and this is real life, that is a rather terrifying conclusion.
The warning conveyed on my screen made me realise that the release of my book might actually be the most important thing I ever do and is needed right now!
Thankfully I can announce that my book is ready to make us all think about online addiction. You can actually order The Invite now by visiting https://www.amazon.co.uk/Invite-C-P-Riches-ebook/dp/B08MCDYPPL
In the interest of objectivity, I should say it wasn’t all doom and gloom. The narrator’s believed that it was never the initial objective of tech companies to brainwash society. Like any other business, they just want to make money. It is just that somewhere along the way, things have got out of control. The key message I guess you could say, is that we need to get it back!