Pocket Profiles: Wilson Miner and the Social Dilemma

Wilson Miner

Wilson Miner - When We Build - YouTube

Miner outlines how incredibly quickly we are progressing and how technology is being consumed in mass and shaping our environment so quickly with all signs indicating this progression will only become faster. I think it’s not only interesting but important to reflect upon our own role and input into this environment as interaction designers we are contributing to how this environment both looks and feels to the user, with the user being not only ourselves and our peers but also our future selves, our elderly selves and the generations that come after us. Therefore, how do we adapt to this constantly changing environment, what do we need to learn and what can we implement now that will have the potential to create a positive ripple effect? I think it’s important to be mindful about the positive elements of the on-screen environment but also to take note and avoid the negative aspects maintaining clear priorities which will potentially require us to look more closely at creating both ethical and functional design and build.

This is further reinforced in documentaries such as the social dilemma which outlines how the impact that how products and platforms can have on people.


The Social Dilemma

The Social Dilemma Isn't Shocking, But it Does Bring the Privacy Issue From Geeks to the Masses

This documentary takes a very interesting look at the impact of social media and big tech companies such as Google, Facebook and youtube on individuals and on cultural and political landscapes. On an individual level, it looks at how companies such as Google and Facebook use an advertising model that ensures advertisers a certain view/response rate within a targeted audience. In order to meet these conditions tech companies use psychological tactics similar to those used in gambling such as gamification, notifications and high dopamine kicks all through tailored content presented through highly accurate algorithms based on the individuals use of the platform. Essentially making users addicted to using their platform which can have a list of nock on negative effects.

One of the concerns highlighted about this was that over time individuals can become immersed in polarised content warping their view of reality and reducing understanding and empathy for those that do not hold the same views which may impact cultural and political landscapes. It’s amazing and very concerning the amount of influence this can lead to on a global scale. However, while the outcomes have the potential to be very negative I still feel that there is so much positive that can be done with these platforms if used in the correct way.

I firmly believe that there are many working towards this goal particularly with documentary such as the social dilemma highlighting a number of people that worked for these companies even helping to generate these systems that are viewing their impact and wanting to make changes. I think this is an interesting and important area that requires as much attention as possible and would love to be involved in working towards solutions for these problems at some stage in my studies and/or career.

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