Ted Mills’s review published on Letterboxd:
A scare film masquerading as a doc, which seems to be having some effect among the boomer viewers on my Facebook feed, which in itself is hilarious.
The doc gathers various tech developers for a sort of mea culpa, separately, all sitting in these sets that look like jail cells to perform penance. (I do admit a fondness for Jaron Lanier, who was ringing the alarm a long time ago).
Intercut with this is a series of re-enactments of how social media effects an average family, though they didn't really feel cast as one. I didn't know the older daughter was a highschooler until much later.
We also see some sort of Inside Out/Black Mirror anthropomorphised algorithm (played by Pete from Mad Men) and some computer graphics straight out of 1994.
The film makes a couple of good points that have been circulating years ago--that we are the product, etc. etc. Nowhere in the discussion is capitalism, let alone late-capitalism mentioned, even though the complete collapse of the job market is what has led to us becoming the product, instead of labor creating the product.
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are held up as embodying the wacky early days of the internet, despite both those men amassing their fortunes through some of the most ruthless business practices out there, not because they wanted to "have fun" on the net. What we're seeing now is a world run by knock-off copies of Jobs and Gates, inhaling their own sociopathic fumes.
And the absolute gall for Netflix to complain about the psychological tactics of Facebook and Instagram to keep us watching no matter what--this from a company that won't let credits run without automatically starting the next film? Oy.