One of the most unique problems that has arisen in our new dystopian nightmare world is the social media question and how we must address it as followers of Jesus Christ. It is this question that The Social Dilemma tries to answer from a secular point of view. Directed by Jeff Orlowski, the documentary explores the social media landscape and the various issues it has produced such as surveillance, addiction, fake news, conspiracy theories, behavior modification and much more. These subjects are dissected and lamented by former employees, programmers and executives from Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Google, and Apple.
The documentary is a very easy watch. It is easy to understand and does not bore you with minute details. The Social Dilemma gets right into the major problems of our obsession with social media. And while I do think that this documentary is very important in the context of the current times we are living in, unfortunately it misses the mark on a couple of key issues and is nearly six years too late to make a difference to curb the degeneracy we now live in.
Social Media and its effects are both fascinating and puzzling as there has been no other time in human history that we can communicate at such an accelerated pace. The latest news and happenings come at us at nearly instantaneous speed. And everyone with just a few clicks of a smartphone can participate in the human hive-mind. Ideas and comments are spread and propagated. Theories and memes get their moments in the sun Some of these memes wither away while others are spread throughout the web. Groups and different tribes of all types and worldviews can easily assemble with one another through forums, threads and pages to discuss ideas and topics.While their have been a lot of benefits to humanity when it comes to these social media companies, The Social Dilemma primarily focuses on more of the negative accepts that companies like Facebook and Twitter have brought in our lives.
Unfortunately The Social Dilemma is a documentary that has come far too late to make a difference to what is going on in today’s society. Despite its many warnings, its evidences of manipulating our minds and decisions, the artificial rift it is creating in the social structure, and the utter waste of time it produces, people will still cling onto their phones, and participate in the same social media platforms, and get involved in the same social media degeneracy. People want this. And the big tech businesses are just providing what they want.
One of the central themes of the movie is the concept and the problem of what is “truth” in the internet age? The movie harkens on such buzzwords such as “fake news” and conspiracy theories such as pizzagate that allegedly instigates violence. What are facts, and what is fake? Who gets to decide what is the truth? Should these social media companies decide what is the “truth?” Should people like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and the Google Boys decide what are the facts and what should get censored? This subject is a very big deal, especially with the level of censorship that these tech companies are dishing out. What is real and what is truth in an era where someone can easily distort the facts of a matter or propagate an idea through memes with simple clicks on a keyboard?
The Bible makes it very clear that the ultimate “truth” about everything is Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God and God in the flesh. It should be said that asking what is the truth is one of the most profound questions a man will make in his lifetime. And how we go about asking it has dire consequences for your life and well-being. Pontious Pilite, the Roman governor incharge of Judea and the one who ultimately gave Jesus up to be crucified, asked this same question to Jesus when He proclaimed that He came into the world to testify to the truth, and everyone who belongs to the truth listens to His voice. It is unknown if Pilates’s retort of “what is truth” was a serious question to Jesus, or a simple retort, not caring to hear an answer. Whatever the reason, Pilate continued on with his business and agenda of the world and handed Jesus to be crucified.
However, the world does not view Christ as the ultimate truth on all matters. The Social Dilemma presents it’s version of “truth” in a typical worldly manner, where people will twist and contort any information to push their agendas. But this type of degeneracy has been going on since the printing press was created. Is the liberal worldview correct? Or is it the conservative worldview? Should we listen to the scientist or be suspicious of their data? Should we trust the news? Should we believe every conspiracy theory? It is written in the Bible that knowledge will increase in the end times. But how can a man discern what information has been given to him via these social platforms when we have so many biases in our hearts and the people putting out this information often do not have our best interest in mind?
We often side with our own tribe and worldview, and say to hell with the other side. In our own stubbornness, we do not listen to reason or turn to God to quell the anger in our hearts. Instead we give into our own passions of anger, division, strife, enmity, rivalries, idolatry, debauchery, sexual immorality, factions, and envy. Instead of having a mind for God and discerning what is truth and what is not, we instead believe what we want to believe despite the damage it is doing to our soul and the harm it is causing to others.
This isn’t just a world problem, but the Social Media question is now infecting the Church. There are so many divisions, rivaleries, bad blood, name-calling, back-stabbing, grifting, and general buffoonery going on among those who claim to follow Christ on the internet that we look exactly like the world who bathe in this type of iniquity. But fortunately, as scripture will point out, this type of stuff has been going on since the Church began. Christ warns us about being deceived. Paul constantly warned to watch out for and avoid people who create divisions. And avoid foolish controversies. We have new technology, but we have the same human heart issues. It is written: Nothing is new under the sun.
At the core of the social media question is the constant war on your mind, spirit and heart. Satan is constantly using ways to distract you from what is righteous and to blind you to the truth. This is why Jesus Christ must be your rock, or you will go mad by the agendas of this world. This is why you must do your due diligence to study God’s word to know what the shot really is and how the world really operates. The world is enslaved by the division, hatred, and degeneracy that social media propagates. But as Jesus Christ points out, if you are His disciples, you will abide in His word and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. This is why it is so important to look at the world through the lens of the Bible. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
Unfortunately The Social Delima does not talk about anything Christ-related and instead ironically use the same division tactics it warns about. The movie makes a big stink over Trump, Russiagate and other pieces of dust people fight over. The movie does have a liberial bias to it, and because of that, I predict a lot of boomers will lightswitch-brain the documentary off from their minds. The Social Dilemma’s biggest crime is not focusing the spotlight and the true culprits behind the censorship and algorithm degeneracy we see: The advertisers. Advertisers have single-handedly destroyed social media. Most of the censorship that is happening on these social media platforms has to do with money, and how advertisers want nothing to do with controversial opinions. No advertiser wants to be hit by the “cancel culture” mob. There will be a time in the future where authentic, gospel preaching will be banned on the internet, and the truth will be hiddened. It will be replaced by progressive christianity that has no respect for scripture and has an obsession with sexual degeneracy. Instead of preaching a gospel of repentance and Jesus being the only way to the Father, we will get a gospel of universalism. Sugar-coated and marketable to the masses.
So what is the solution to followers of Christ when it comes to the Social Media question? The first answer some of you must be thinking is to not use social media at all. And for practicality, that is the correct answer. However, in reality this cannot be the case as our lives revolve around social media and technology. The fact is that for a large portion of the western world, the action is online. The zoomer generation has been raised on social media and has adapted and if we are to reach the next generation with the gospel, we must have a gospel presence online no matter the cost. Do not get me wrong, there is a time and place for IRL activities. In fact, the priority should be real church communities that meet face to face. But we cannot simply scoff and ignore that these social media companies are part of our lives for the time being. I only speak of ministries and those who partake in the Great Commission. I also concede the fact that not every pastor, minister, elder, deacon or ministry can have, nor should have, a presence online considering the unique pitfalls one would face using these platforms. Nor should they be forced to get a facebook account or an instagram page by techno-deviants. After all, if Facebook is causing you to send, you should shut it down and avoid it.
Another solution I hear, especially from the conservative right is to build our own Facebook and our own twitter to combat censorship. But is this really the necessary solution? I would love to not use these degenerate social media hellholes, but what would we get from splitting? We would get an echo-chamber and not a diverse set of opinions. How is this supposed to further the Great Commision? In fact, should the Great Commission apply to the world wide web and the digital realm? These are quite interesting times we live in.
I believe the solution when it comes down to it, is to first and foremost come to the truth. That is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have got to open our eyes and realize how sinful the world is and how sinful we all are. You can see it online constantly, how social media manipulates your feelings and emotions. And how people, and yourself, behave online. The truth is that we are not really at war with each other, with Big Tech, Big Brother, Big Eva, the LGBT Mafia, Libtards, MAGA morons, blowhard karens, racists frogs, atheist grifters, CRT or progressive christianity. This is not a left vs right, socialist vs capitalist issue we deal with. But who are we struggling with in this digital age? Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. The real fight is spiritual. It is with our dark hearts and our struggle with sin. Social Media is just pointing out the same issue we have had since the days of old: We have a sin problem. Humanity has a deep heart issue and no amount of censorship, spying, monitoring, moderating, “free” market solutions, or legislation on the internet can wipe away the evil from our souls.
What humanity needs is salvation and a savior. This is why we need the gospel. This is why we need the good news that salvation has already come, through the only begotten Son of God, that being Jesus Christ. His life, His death, and His resurrection. That God sent His Son to reconcile with humanity and to reveal His love for us through His sacrifice on the cross for our sins. That whoever believes in the name of Jesus will not perish, but have everlasting life. It is the same message from the days of old, and it is the same message in this technological age. That salvation comes from God by believing in the name of His only begotten son, Jesus Christ. When we swallow this ultimate red pill and accept the truth, we receive the Holy Spirit who will open our eyes to what the shot is.
If we cannot control our thoughts, minds and fingers on our keyboards for the minute and trivial stuff we see on social media, what will happen when the real persecution comes and they take away your facebook account for being a follower of Christ? What about your twitter handle? Or Instagram profile? Or what about your bank account for being a Christ follower?
Despite what the conservo-grifters bark at you, the Republican party will not save you from the online persecution that is coming. There is no long term solution on the horizon when it comes to the pressing issues of social media. In fact, the bad news is that it will get worse. As we approach the end of the age and the second coming of Christ, evil will only increase and be more rampant. This is compounded by the fact that there is a massive generation gap between boomers who were not raised on the internet, and the zoomers who have seen a lifetime worth of filth and garbage on the web by the time they are eight years old. Technology and culture are rapidly evolving and degenerating at a breakneck speed with no signs of stopping. Big Tech will only get more powerful and thanks to crony capitalism, the pressure to grow and extract further shekels from the unwashed masses will continue to be the primary motive of these mega corporations.
The Social Dilemma is a worldy documentary that only gives worldly solutions to the social media question that will ultimately lead to more problems and ultimately destruction. The real answer to these issues is to come to a realization of the truth that as human beings, we are broken, and our hearts are full of sin, selfish and greedy. Hungry for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Eccestiates points out, nothing new is under the sun. This is not to say that back in ancient times they had social media, but it does say that the underlying issues of human nature and the human heart is sin. The fact is that thanks to the twitters and the Facebooks of the internet, we are living in the golden age of the pride of life. Where everyone has put themselves or their agendas on a pedestal, making an idol of themselves. Back in the boomer era, it took great effort to get on TV, or on the news, for fame and attention. Now it is just a click of a button and anyone with a smartphone with a camera can have their 15 seconds of fame. But now, everyone can become a 15 second God. Everyone can become a critic, killing people with their keyboards. Everyone now can craft a fake version of themselves on the web when the truth is that they are a broken human just like everyone else. As Paul points to Timothy about the last days:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Reading these verses from scripture, does this not sound like the human condition on the web?
As followers of Jesus Christ, we must take a step back and take a deep look at the technology of the age and repent of our behaviors. We must take a more careful and big picture look when it comes to social media, its challenges, and pitfalls. We must continue the renewing of our minds through the scriptures so we can know what the shot really is and break through the conditioning that social media has put us through. When we know the truth, the truth will set us free. This is not a freedom like the world sees freedom, but a spiritual freedom where you can finally see through the sinful seams of reality and understand the nature of things. Then, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can start to grow in spiritual maturity. Instead of hurting one another, we start helping. Instead of a spirit of depression over why the world is the way it is, we can have a spirit of truth and understanding. Instead of a spirit of envy over others “successes” on the internet, we can get a spirit of contentment and thankfulness, because not every picture of a successful person is true.
To those of you who don’t believe in Jesus Christ, or have never done a deep dive on Christ, I implore you to study Jesus Christ in the context of the Bible. You know, just by being on the greater internet in general that something is very wrong with our world and that things are getting worse day by day. The truth is that a time is coming, and has come, when God must judge the world again. But the good news is that though we are sinners, God loves us. God provided for us an ark to protect us from the wrath He is going to unleash on the world, that is Jesus Christ, His sacrifice for our sins, and His resurrection. All who believe in the name of Jesus will be saved. They will not perish, but have everlasting life.
The Social Dilemma is a documentary that has no real hope for the future. But as followers of The Way, we know that our hope is very real. We know what the shot is, and know that these are simply the birth pains of a New Heavens and New Earth. The fact is, from watching this documentary, is that we need a savior, we need salvation, and we need reconciliation with God. It all comes back to the gospel, it all comes back to Jesus Christ. We need this message more than ever, even in this digital age.