The Social Dilemma

With a business model to drive up engagement, even at the expense of our mental health being , these are all the consequences which has grown exponentially post 2011.

Netflix has recently put up a documentary on the dilemma and havocs of social media. People who have worked in leadership teams of Facebook, Google, Instagram , YouTube are now warning how of the evils of social media and how it manipulates our daily life.

This show scared me. The influence of social media is strong and it can mess up with our heads. What we are already experiencing around us is extremely polarising opinions, extremism, anxiety, vanity-ism, depression , isolation. There are many other “ISMS” and “IONS”, I might be missing some out.

With a business model to drive up engagement, even at the expense of our mental health being , these are all the consequences which has grown exponentially post 2011.

No one can deny the beauty and wonder of these technologies. But when it becomes an addiction , which it was designed to , it is a serious cause of concern. We are literally pawns in the hands of these tech giants, and they sell our vulnerabilities to the advertisers, the highest bidder. The content that you see is altered as per your interest. This is how the algorithm works. It recommends videos and topics of similar interests which leads you to believe one type of narrative instead of a neutral perspective. This is dangerous and it can be/has been exploited.

For eg, The Like button, a stroke of genius. It was developed to create positivity and love but what it become was a source of validation and a popularity contest. Growing children, teenagers who are emotionally vulnerable are now suffering from low self esteem, depression and isolation. And ironically as someone on the show said, the more likes you get, the more empty you feel.

We need to remember, these apps were all developed by IT professionals and marketeers to drive up engagement with their app . We are not their customers, the advertisers are. We are mere subjects and they make money on their knowledge of us.

I don’t know how long the effect of this show will have on me . But I know if I don’t do anything about it for myself and family, It will be my responsibility. Please watch the show and act on it.

Binge Worthy : Jeffery Epstein

Recently came across an article on Ghislaine Maxwell and her subsequent arrest. So few days later, when I came across the documentary on Jeffery Epstein on Netflix, my antennas went up and I started watching.

It has limited number of episodes so it will not stretch endlessly. The documentary is quite an eye opener and keeps you hooked till the very end.It features some of the survivors where they share how they got lured and trapped by multi millionaire Jeffery Epstein and were then physically and emotionally abused.

What is interesting is how he was able to pull his rank and connections to get away from the authorities for decades. Yes, Inspite the countless charges made by the victims, he kept getting away from law, as early as 2005!

He mingled with rich and powerful and was especially close to Harvey Wienstein and Prince Andrew. No surprises there. Epstein was arrested on 6th July last year and committed suicide a month later prior to his trial. The victims did not get the satisfaction of seeing him serve his punishment and it may seem he took the easy way out.

Now that his ex girl friend /employee/close friend is also taken into custody as an accomplice , it will be interesting to see what secrets will be revealed of the rich and powerful.

I will definitely recommend you to watch this one!

New Year Calls For New Beginnings

So another year goes by in a jiffy . As soon as the schools ended , all the expats  left Lagos for their  winter break. It almost seemed like a crime not to. People catching the same or next day flights as if their houses were fumigated and they would suffocate if they even spend a second longer.  But that is how expat lives are like.  You wait for these breaks to meet your family and  friends or treat yourself to a holiday.

We visited Dubai. For us it was like going home. Or rather a home away from home.  Not too long ago I had bid farewell to this amazing city and now here I am, returning back as a tourist.  As expected Dubai greeted me with a warm perfume filled hug . Looking immaculate as always. I noticed it had become even more attractive while I was away  but I was not sure whether it was all in my head. After all the distance does make the heart grow fonder.

Lets have a moment of silence for all the fresh and beautiful fruits and vegetables I saw in Dubai, the shops bursting with all  kind of things you possibly want to buy and all  the food you ever wish to eat, because I will not be experiencing that anytime soon while I am here in Lagos.  So it is no surprise I come back with an extra chin and an extra roll of fat .

Can you guess what my new resolutions might be ? Yes, lose weight, get fit and healthy. This has been on my list for a DECADE , but yet I copy paste it every single year . You do have to admire my persistence. Also I REALLY REALLY need to use my time productively. Write, learn and focus. Life was much simpler before Netflix and WhatsApp. You hear and read such brave stories of people and their accomplishments against all odds, and here I am , struggling not to binge on Netflix!  How sad is that, right!

So what  are your resolutions this year and what helps you stick to them? Do let me know.