Over this past weekend while looking through Netflix I came across an intriguing show called Black Mirror. Many may already be familiar with the show as season 3 just premiered on October 21st. Black Mirror is a anthology series that is set in the future where technology has advanced, which ultimately causes problems for individuals and society as a whole. It’s a very possible and very frightning view of what the future could possibly be like. A few episodes really stuck out to me.
In season threes first episode, the main character, Lacie (played by Bryce Dallas Howard), lives in a world that is controlled by a persons rating. Everything depends on your social rating that is affected by how people around you perceive you. Everyone is rated on a five star scale. Each person has an account (that looks a lot like Instagram) that they can post pictures and videos of what they are doing during their everyday lives. The ratings that people give you can be based on these postings and also how you interact with them personally. The ratings are important because they directly affect how you live your life. If your rating is high you are able to gain access to exclusive things such as cars, plane tickets, and neighborhoods. It also affects how people see and interact with you since your rating is viewed by anyone and everyone. In the end Lacie becomes so worried about keeping a high rating, she lets it take control of her life by letting it control her feelings, how she interacts with people, how she lets people treat her, and what she eats. The episode reflects how we in todays world view the amount of likes, views and followers affect us. It shows what our future could be like if we continue to let social media control our lives.
Another episode that stuck out to me was the sixth and last episode of the third season of Black Mirror. In this episode people are mysteriously dying of unknown causes. The first was a news writer who wrote a very offensive story, a rapper who cursed at and humiliated a nine year old boy on live television, and a woman who took an offensive picture with a national war monument. The show follows a team of investigators who eventually link the deaths with drone bees that the government was using in order to pollinate flowers. The drones were hacked by a man named Garrett Scholes. The drone bees were used to murder these individuals by inserting themselves into their brains and either exploding or causing extreme pain until the victim killed themselves. What is interesting about this episode is that the targets for these murders were not chosen by Scholes himself, but by the public. On a social media platform that is supposed to resemble Twitter, people used the hashtag #DeathTo to say who they think should die. The public took the hashtag as a joke and used it to voice there hatred for the actions of these individuals. In the end, all the users of the hashtag end up getting attacked and killed by the drone bees. The moral of the episode is for people to realize that what we say online affect people. They aren’t just words on a screen. Even if you are not saying them face to face with an actual person, they hold weight. It’s meant to make people see that what we say online do have consequences.
There are many other interesting stories told within the three seasons of Black Mirror. The show will make you take a step back and realize just how social media affects the world around you.
Black Mirror Season 3 Episode 1: Nosedive
Black Mirror Season 3 Episode 6: Hated in the Nation
“Black Mirror Enlists the Industry’s Best Composers for Season 3, including Geoff Barrow of Portishead.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2016. <http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/black-mirror-season-3-netflix-portishead-geoff-barrow-compser-score-max-richter-bear-mccreary-clint-a7169741.html>
“Black Mirror Season 3 Episode 1 Review: ‘A Temporary Puppeteer of Your Thoughts'” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2016. <http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/reviews/black-mirror-season-3-episode-3-s03e03-review-release-date-spoilers-charlie-brooker-netflix-bryce-a7342551.html>
Chakrabarti, Suchandrika. “Black Mirror Season 4 on Netflix: Everything You Need to Know about the NEXT 6 Episodes – Mirror Online.” Mirror. N.p., 03 Nov. 2016. Web. 06 Nov. 2016. <http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-previews/netflix-black-mirror-4-news-9000052>.