The Marketer's Dilemma - Social Media

Hey there Social Media Pulse Folks!

I recently watched the Netflix Documentary The Social Dilemma and also recently read Jaron Lanier’s book Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.

I published a podcast episode on the subject and invite you to listen to my thoughts on what I learned. Marketing Distilled Podcast

My question is, have you seen the documentary and/or read the book? What do you think? As social media marketers, do you see the ethics behind your work and the bigger picture?

Jonathan Gaby


I’ve long questioned what social media managers’ roles are in certain instances. Many brands/pages are targeting engagements, and not all of those engagements are healthy for the audience.

We cannot burden ourselves with the role of maintaining our audience’s mental health. Yet we can probably commit not to have a negative impact on it.


Ha—I have that little book (purchased partly as a joke, but I do intend to read it)! And I, too, saw “The Social Dilemma” and it changed the way I view some things for sure.

I think the real key here is manipulation: the algorithms are a form of psychological manipulation, but they can also be used for good. I think it underscores the need to be straightforward and genuine, to care about the good of the people your brand serves, and to avoid the cheap tricks that can provide big results at a big moral cost.

I personally feel good about everything I’ve ever used social media for. I don’t think the solution is to stop using these platforms. I think the thing to do is to just be ever-mindful of the power these platforms wield, and to apply a stronger moral code to how we use them, and in service of what.

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We can’t control the bad actors, but that doesn’t mean we have to drop out of social altogether. We can simply ensure we’re not doing bad things, not contributing to unhealthy social discourse, not using manipulative tricks in a negative way.