‘Black Mirror’ Is Not That Far off from Reflecting Our Current Society

Black Mirror is one of those “I must binge-watch all episodes in one night” shows on Netflix, which just aired its fourth season. If the first episode in Season One did not scar you from seeing the other episodes, you might not realize that each episode is a dark reflection on where we’ve gone and where we're heading. According to blog.umd.edu,Black Mirror constantly focused on the extremes within societies based on the disruption and manipulation of prospective future technology. Whether the primary focus in society is through social media, drones, artificial intelligence, or wearable technology, the concepts all focus on how societies could use technology in a manner of abuse.” This show foreshadows how technology, which has been quickly advancing, can cause hell if used wrong, but also how it can be helpful if used correctly. Some episodes can have you laughing and others screaming to death, but in both cases, the writer is resolutely holding the mirror in front of you, forcing you to face the disturbing and inescapable truths about what we're becoming.

Have you ever wondered why the show is named Black Mirror? While it fits well with the dark theme and science fiction genre about the horror made possible by new technologies. The creator Charlie Brooker explained its double meaning in an interview with The Guardian in 2014, but according to Maxim, a lot of people seem to have missed it. He revealed “Any TV, any LCD, any iPhone, any iPad—something like that—if you just stare at it, it looks like a black mirror, and there's something cold and horrifying about that, and it was such a fitting title for the show." The title literally depicts how you see a black mirror when your electronics screen is turned off and how it feeds to the ugliest aspect of human nature, “evidenced by social-media witch hunts and a desperation for constant “likes” and public approval.” Once Twitter users came to the recognition they were all “shook.”

In an article entitled, “The ‘Black Mirror’ Technology that Will Soon Be Real”, Motherboard’s/VICE author, Jason Koebler, writes, “So while Black Mirror is disconcerting and bleak, it’s not farfetched. As I was watching the series, I kept thinking about how many of the scenarios brought to life in the show aren’t only realistic, they’re actively being made possible by scientists, companies, and the people who are willing to let tech completely permeate their lives. Yes, lots of these technologies are somewhat in their infancies, but, every day, the show is quickly moving from the realm of sci-fi into the world of everyday existence”.

For instance, in the episode of Black Mirror titled “Hated in the Nation” directed by James Hawes, there is an investigation on a string of mysterious deaths tied to menacing message on social media. As stated in the DailyNews, “The first to be murdered is a columnist who wrote a nasty article about a disabled activist, and the piece attracts the wrath of the public. When it is learned that the messages include the hashtag #deathtoll, millions throughout the country join in, with the name of the country’s leader topping the list of who should be killed next.” This took trolling to the next level. After watching this episode, it made me realize how on Twitter everyone has the free will to speak their mind, but sometimes that results to hateful tweets and hashtags. In this episode, everyone who participated had a time clock before the mechanical bees came for them. Imagine if your actions had real consequences like this.

In the “Nosedive” episode, directed by Joe Wright, Bryce Dallas Howard plays a woman obsessed with being liked and lived her life trying to please everyone so they will give her a good rating. The more likes and better your social media defined who you interact with, where you live, how much money you make, and who you can associate yourself with. They spent the whole day greeting and being kind to others, doing everything they could so people would like you. They had to look good all the time and they couldn't really have any negative interactions or have a bad day. Personally, I couldn’t live like that, but that’s not too far fetched to how it is with Instagram. We all want to post and show the good part of our life, the flattering pictures, and have more followers and likes. Though social media has not completely taken control of our life, it's eerie knowing it can.

If you haven’t started watching Black Mirror, you must! See what the future behind the black mirror holds! The new Season Four aired this year and the creators and director stepped up their game. Even though the episodes are non-sequential, in every episode there are references and even appearances from episodes before.

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