More on ‘the social dilemma’

It is ironic that I am watching a documentary about social media addiction on netflix, which is again an addiction platform.

Of course Netflix is different from social media.
1) Netflix is a paid service. Netflix is not serving users with third party ads or recommendations.
2) We make a decision to see Netflix by paying for subscription. Hence user is not the product unlike in free social media services. You stop paying, you lose access to the service.

‘if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product’

Many say ‘I am different, I am not addicted’. You will be surprised to see how much time you spend on social media, if you actually measure time with tools like rescue time. (I measured few years back. I was shocked)

You will understand how deep the social media companies go to “extract your attention”. These companies are in the business of “mining your attention”

Also in the documentary at the start of the credits the creators mocks us by saying ” follow us on social media. We are kidding ! “

But when I went to their website, they are using social media channels anyway.


They have their reason.

Why is ‘The Social Dilemma’ on social media?

While we hope The Social Dilemma will inspire people to spark conversations “IRL”, we believe it is especially important to reach people where they need to hear it most – on social media.

In service of that goal, we plan to use social media to advance our impact campaign while adopting and modeling the principles of humane technology. Our focus will be on getting the film out to new audiences that might not otherwise seek it out, increasing the public’s understanding of the dilemma faced by our increased reliance on technologies that have become exploitative and extractive, and providing tools and resources to realign our relationship with these platforms.

For what is worth ‘the social dilemma’ is a must watch. It makes you think, reflect and adjust.

On motivational speakers and training

motivation speaker

Motivational speakers are good, when your team is in low spirits.

Provided you have a good strategy, right team in place and enabling structures are executed.  But what happens when you have no sound strategy, mediocre teams in place and structures are crumbling.?

No dose of motivation can fix that, right?

But no, many leaders don’t get this. They outsource the hard stuff to a forever optimistic outsider. They sugar coat with hype and jargon. They say “all our futures are bright. But we need to gel together now.” Sounds like crap coming out of  from politician’s mouths, ain’t it ? Sadly many organisations are throwing one session motivational speakers to solve their big long enduring problems.

Like with many mediocre inefficient solution out there, motivational speakers are attractive. They give the sudden boost of steroids. We all feel good, until we feel the ‘same old’ the next day.

So what can we do about training ?

Training is way more important to outsource. There are areas you can outsource, but the core strategy and execution of training should never be outsourced. The senior management and unit heads should be leaders in real time. The problems of today are Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. 

You need senior managers and unit heads to step up to be coaches and mentors. No HR department in the world can get real time assessment of individual training needs of an organisation. That’s why Netflix decentralised training function to unit heads. Netflix’s global reach is testament that their decentralised training plan is working. They publish more and more creative original content and expand their global reach month on month.

So does this mean motivational speaking has no place in the work place?

The answer is Yes and No.

Yes it does – Why do you think sports coaches give their pep talks at the start and intervals of a game? When you have done all game planning and trained hard for it, all you need is a grain of motivation from your leader to go out there and perform your best.

No, that motivation speech can do nothing – if you don’t have sound strategy, a great team and execution structures in place.

Let me know what you think. Appreciate if you can drop a comment below.

permission to sell

Sri Lankans did not like excessive netflix ads placed on youtube, right at the start of each video. This happened around new years eve. That felt like a nasty friend who goes and stand up right in-front of TV every time I start playing a video.

Direct disturbance of user, especially when that user ( me) is already a subscriber, is the polar opposite of permission to ask and sell. There’s no permission given in this forceful ad. I have waited in irritation for 4 seconds to pass to hit ‘skip ad’.

Throwing tons of ads on face of a user is not a good tactic. Not in 2019.

In-fact funny thing happened afterwards. I have unsubscribed netflix and subscribed to prime video. I am not saying those ads was the sole reason to switch, but I can safely say, that irritation was a trigger for me to find an alternative. Price wise it was a $12 to $5 switch. That made it more easier.

Age of quality digital content

Both mega budget movies from Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan at the end of 2018 have failed at box office. Usual thinking of big Khans pulling crowds have come to a grinding halt.

Because of social media. The early adopters ( first day viewers) posted negative comments on social media and the audience got thinner ever since.

Quality realistic movies like ‘Baadhai Ho’ have done surprisingly well at bollywood Box office. ‘Sacred Games’, the Indian Netflix series have done well. Internationally ‘Bird Box’ was a sensation.

Goes on to say, in social media driven age, our online opinions drive the demand up or down. Digital content is freaking transparent . No fake news can get you to go in to a cinema hall and make you pay.

Streaming habits

I used to be a quality connoisseur, when it came to movies. Back in 2002, when VCD was the bomb, I did not give in to camera copies. I would wait diligently for the best version to pop up. When things were in abundance around 2010 with torrents, still I was selective. I needed the best quality ones. I would go to movie theatres even when I could not afford, because I wanted the best quality. Whenever I am out of the country, I visit a IMAX theatre where available. I do not have TV at home for more than 10 years now. I do not intend to buy one in future.

End of 2017, here I am watching movies and TV series on Netflix (mostly) and iflix.

Netflix original TV series content is so good and addictive. I am more in to TV series than movies now. TV series have more time and space to detail out a story in depth. I never thought I would watch TV series on a ipad or a small screen mobile phone, yet I do now. Because I am struggling for time. I do not have time to be in-front of a TV. But I do have unproductive time chunks wasted in traffic. Also in between meetings, waiting in a cafe. It is good to catch up on to a 15 mts of TV time on my mobile. This has replaced my novel reading. I do not know if it is a good thing. But I do know I am looking forward to some good TV content.

Good quality story telling in high definition, easy access, value for money monthly subscription models, tailored suggestions based on my viewing history are all shifting me to digital streaming entertainment. It’s so exciting. It’s my duty to balance it out. Because one can easily get addicted.