Matrix Resurrections released on 22nd Dec 2021, and on HBO max, did okay on the box office. This movie has mixed reactions, most of the people did not like the movie, as the storyline was similar to the original The Matrix movie. Only a couple of differences. But I personally liked the movie. One of the things that made me watch this movie couple of times, is how well they have depicted the control of machines over humans. And how that replicates into our real life. How social media companies have control over us, and how our society influences our lives. Let me explain in detail
How Social media have a control over our life
We all love to spend time on social media, share pictures, like and comment on other pictures and videos. But do you realize how these social media companies make money, it is simply using your attention and engagement. This is kind of a new economy, an attention economy. I will explain in short here, and in detail in a separate article.
What is attention economy?
These social media companies earn their income using your watch time and how much you engage in the content you see. They are clearly dependent on the attention you provide while you are viewing social media.
To boost your engagement on their platform, they keep on innovating. First came just the pictures then videos and now reels (Short videos), the UI of these platforms has also changed. They want us to keep on scrolling, so they are trying to remove any distraction that will keep us from doing it. Social media companies manipulate the things we see on social media. We think that we see what we want to see, but what we don’t realize is that we are bound to see what these social media companies want us to see.
The algorithm mostly shows what we like, save and comment, but we also see ads around the post we like. Nowadays Social media tend to show more ads on their platform to increase their earnings. These ads are engaging and are not different from the content you are already watching. Which makes it difficult for us to differentiate between the normal and sponsored content.
How Matrix Resurrections depicts the control of social media companies?
The Matrix shows us the dystopian future where machines have taken control over us and we are used as their source of energy. We are put inside the pod and we are kept in there and the machines do not let us escape. We are like batteries for them.
In Matrix revolutions, we see that Neo and trinity died. But in Matrix resurrections, we see both of them are alive. This was because the Analyst who is the head of the Matrix has resurrected them and kept them close enough to generate energy for the machine world.
Neo, Trinity and the Agent are integral parts of one another, and if Neo and trinity came close enough they will be too powerful for the matrix.
This is why the analyst was giving blue pills to Neo to keep him in the matrix and keep control over him. They also made him think that the matrix trilogy was a game and he is the developer of the game. And the analyst renamed trinity to tiffany and gave her a family so that she doesn’t remember anything.
What do social media companies do to control us?
Just like matrix is dependent on humans as batteries, these social media companies are dependent on our attention. Without which they cannot make profits. We are the products using which these social media companies earn profits.
These companies know how human psychology work, they use persuasive technologies to alter our behaviour.
We post photos and videos just to see how many people like comment and share our posts. We crave that engagement, and this is something these social media companies take leverage of. This engagement keeps us in a loop of refreshing, again and again, to see how much engagement we have got. If we get lower engagement, we tend to post again with different content.
What we don’t realize here is we are trapped in a loop where these social media companies are making billions and we are the ones who are losing our mental health because of the mindless scrolling we do. This obsession for engagement affects our mental health, we tend to lose ourselves. As whenever we get engagement dopamine hits our brain, and it is like an addiction.
To get more engagement and followers we pay these companies to run ads, without which it is really hard to get good engagement. This is how these social media companies control us. Some of you might say we don’t use social media. But we use social media for jobs, news, and in the current age, each and every business that needs to grow globally needs to have a digital presence. So we are stuck with these social media companies who like to control us with their algorithm.
The most important thing is the notification that these sites and apps have, they are like a blue pill that keeps us constantly coming back. We have the option of disabling the notification, but most of us don’t do that, as it scares us that we might miss something.
There is no red pill to escape this, but we can avoid the blue pill and manage our social media usage. Until we wait for complete decentralized products which we might see web 3.0. Because decentralization will remove the control of a single person or an organization.
How Matrix Resurrections depicts society influences our lives?
In the Matrix Resurrections, we are clearly shown that the people in Matrix are living in a loop, and they cannot break it, as that is their comfort zone. If anyone takes a red pill they will have to give up their comfort zone, and enter the world outside of it which is not easy.
This depiction of comfort is so true in our real lives, we do not want to break our comfort zone for anything, we always try to stick to our comfort zone.
We all live in a certain loop, we are born, raised, study, get a job, get married and have a child, and pretty much the same happens with that child also. I know this is how our society works and that is alright. But when someone tries to do something different as in, if they do not want to go to college, or do want to get a 9-5 job, or do want to get married, the society refers to them as somewhat crazy. As those few people do not live by this society rules.
Our Society influences us, to the extent that even if we wanted to live our lives in a different way, we would not pursue it because society would not accept it.
So I think we all need to take the red pill and choose how we want to live our lives and not to take the blue pill by which society influences us.
The Matrix movies have tried to show us a dystopian future where the machine takes over our planet. Which is feared would happen when AI gets too powerful. What we don’t realize is that we are using AI at a much higher level than we expect. All these social media apps use AI to increase engagement.
But I liked what the matrix movie showed us, how we are trapped by our society influences and our beliefs, how we are using too much of the tech in our day to day lives. And how much we are bound to believe whatever we see on social media.
Hope you guys like this article, this is something I have tried because of my social media addiction and I know how difficult it is to leave social media and I love the Matrix movies.