Take Two: The Social Dilemma

Take Two: The Social Dilemma

by | Oct 12, 2020 | Parenting Adolescents, Trending, Tween Times

Take-Two: The Social Dilemma


With all that The Social Dilemma broadcasted, including platforms’ backstories and the greed that preys on users, it’s stirred the hornet’s nest. After watching it with their adolescents, many readers emailed their experiences and conversations.


One dad shared:

“I watched it with my son, who’s a geek and a gamer and loves history. On his research paper last year, he discovered that misinformation had been out there for years – from talk radio to textbooks. Manipulation is everywhere: our perceptions are skewed. He wants all media to have the burden of proof before sending it out.”


A mom reported:

“Watching the show with my 12 and 14-year-old gave way to discussing the second amendment. We wondered who will determine what is evil, accurate, or valid, and question how democracy will survive.”


A dad of three shared:  

“My kids have flip phones and aren’t allowed to use any social media. My kids complain that they feel left out, and I feel a little sad about that. I don’t want my three subjected to propaganda, bullying, and misinformation. The risks, currently and in the future, outweigh possible moments of joy. “


A mom wrote:

“When Covid-19 required us to shelter in place, my outgoing 7th grader daughter felt stymied. As an extrovert, socializing energizes her. After a week of being cooped up, she not only felt alone, she was lonely, too. So we let her spend more time on screens connecting with her friends and playing games. My wife and I did the same thing. We feel grateful for the technology that kept us connected. We’re still talking about this show and how we will use technology differently.”


Being called a “user” and having no anonymity online infuriated everyone. Many readers turned off all notifications except texts. Some have decided to disable cookies on their devices to avoid data scraping. We all want to feel that we control our lives. We each can use technology in only the ways that will serve us well. Let’s do this!


Here are suggestions:

  • Create an agreement with your children about screen time and sites.
  • Set house rule time for turning devices off each night.
  • Charge all devices in the kitchen.
  • Turn off notifications.
  • Talk about the intentional manipulation by social media.
  • Teach your child how to vet posts for truth before posting.
  • Keep children off social media as long as possible.