Does social media have a dark side that is negatively effecting mental health and dividing society?
Perhaps you’ve seen The Social Dilemma on Netflix and were shocked that so many people that created the social media companies today regret what they’ve created and the damage it has done to society.
That’s just the beginning, there are more documentaries on the highly-addictive nature of smartphones, big tech and social media that go a lot deeper into the problems.
The average person now spends 4-5 hours a day staring at their smartphone and it looks like this number is only going to climb as big tech algorithms swallow of more of people’s time and attention.
If you want to educate yourself about the dark side of smartphones and social media addiction here are some of the best documentaries to watch.
1. Social Media Addiction: The Story and Solutions
You will be absolutely shocked by how social media addiction and addiction to screens is affecting the human brain and our social skills. Psychiatrist Dr Christian Heim looks at the current science and published studies behind social media addiction and what you can do to free your mind.
2. Social Media Is Broken: Can We Fix It?
Do you still remember the early Internet when everything was decentralized and a few massive websites didn’t dominate web traffic? This documentary films examines how the Internet became dominated by a few corporations and the promise of a new decentralized social media protocol called NOSTR.
Disconnected examines the rapid rise of technology, our over-dependence on it, and what it could mean for the future of humanity if we continue to spend less time together and more time in digital worlds that manipulate our thoughts and emotions.
4. Plugged In: The True Toxicity of Social Media Revealed
A shocking mental health documentary about the skyrocketing rates of depression, anxiety and self-harm among youth. This documentary film explores how social media is being used deliberately to harvest as much time and attention as it can from your life.
5. How New Addictions are Destroying Us
This short film looks at behavioral addictions and how the face of addiction is changing as social media and digital addictions take over people’s lives leaving them less time to socialize face-to-face and go outside.
6. Childhood 2.0
For the first time in history, mental illness and suicide have become one of the greatest threats to school-aged children… but the danger isn’t lurking outside, it’s already inside people’s homes. Learn about the implications of children going up addicted to screens.
7. The Creepy Line: Social Media’s Manipulation Of Society
This documentary reveals the stunning degree to which society is manipulated by Google and Facebook and blows the lid off the remarkably subtle – hence powerful – manner in which they do it.
Have any of these films made you want to reduce your time spent on your smartphone and mindlessly scrolling social media?
Regardless, I hope they have opened up some space to contemplate the way technology is changing our lives for better and worse.