Video about what makes "the internet" addictive
September 10, 2022 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend an engaging youtube video that I could watch with my 11 year old, where someone explains why social media, gaming apps etc. are so intentionally addictive, about dopamine rushes and how apps are designed to grab your eyeballs and never let them go again? I think she would be fascinated and it would help her make sense of things.
posted by Omnomnom to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
totally 100% The Social Dilemma -- it's on netflix, not youtube but it's quite good and covers what you're looking for
posted by capnsue at 1:34 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]

Yes, The Social Dilemma.
posted by jdroth at 3:19 PM on September 10

Social Dilemma is a 94-minute film. If you need something shorter and on YouTube as you asked, I'd suggest the "Quit Social Media" TED talk, as it talks about how fragmenting your attention span affects your ability to concentrate. For how phones exploit our existing dopamine and cortisol functions, try Jeff Butler's How Smartphones Change the Way You Think".
posted by MollyRealized at 4:30 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]

The TEDx talk Dark Patterns: How design seeks to control us (10 minutes) is a good introduction to the concept of manipulative design. Don't be a Victim of Dark Patterns! is also a pretty good overview.

Let's go whaling (20 minutes) isn't designed to be an engaging YouTube video, but it's pretty illuminating - it's a conference presentation by a game designer about how to manipulate players into spending money.
posted by aussie_powerlifter at 6:34 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]

I'd love to show something like this to my 10 and 13 yr old granddaughters who spend way too much time on their phones in spite of parental and grandparental efforts to limit it. TED Talks can be great but watching some grownup talk about stuff is probably not gonna engage most kids. "Media and digital literacy" may be a useful term but the few examples I found when I searched focused more on figuring out what's true and what isn't instead of the nuts and bolts of how stuff is purposefully designed to engage and hook/addict kids. I've been poking around the interwebs to find something I can show the kids and I am following this question with interest.
posted by mareli at 7:52 AM on September 11

Above The Noise is a PBS Digital series that I think is aimed at middle schoolers, and they've occasionally discussed issues like video game addiction or social media. E.g. this video
posted by amk at 10:18 AM on September 11

The Social Dilemma really is great. I showed it to my 13 and 15 yo when it was released and I think even younger kids would find it interesting. It’s got great editing and special effects, so it’s not just boring talking heads. Highly recommend folks give it a try…maybe 5th grade and above would get the most out of it?
posted by victoriab at 4:20 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]

Watching it with my granddaughters. The 13 yr old is totally engrossed, the 10 yr old, fairly sophisticated, gifted, sixth grader, has wandered off.
posted by mareli at 4:24 PM on September 15

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