Why 'Black Mirror' is a Prediction of Our Future

This article contains spoilers about the Netflix TV series Black Mirror.

When you dive into the first episode of the revival of Black Mirror, “Nosedive”, you see a society where class is determined by how the rest of society perceives you. This is implemented through a rating system done through their phones and an implant that displays this ranking with your eyes. Jobs, economic stability, accessibility and more is determined by their rating.

You probably think that there’s no way that that could ever happen.

However, something eerily similar is happening in China.

China wants to implement a Social Credit system by 2020, which will rate people based on their social and economic status. This will affect what opportunities will be available to a Chinese citizen. Kinda like “Nosedive,” ya think?

Another scary similarity Black Mirror shows of our society is with the episode “Fifteen Million Credits,” where citizens power their society by exercising on bikes and anyone overweight is in the lowest class. The only way to get out of this life is by competition on a talent show called Hot Shots — except you have to have an exceptional performance, like singing… or being cute enough to be a porn star (which is what happened to one character) or almost commit suicide on television while also giving a speech about how their society is screwed up (which is what happened to another character).

I’m all for the advancement of the technology. I’m an engineer, after all. However, I am not for the advancement of technology if it comes to the detriment of others. Black Mirror expresses the advancement of technology mostly in a bad light, while also showing our heavy dependence on it. There are only about two episodes where the overall tone of it was happy, and that was because the themes were about finding love in a messed-up world.

A lot of the time, the best shows out there are thought to be the best because we don’t believe that those situations would actually happen. It brings a world of fantasy and strikes the imagination.

Another example is the episode “Arkangel,” which is about a mother who puts an experimental implant in her daughter after she loses her at the park one day. This implant allows her for to monitor everything about her daughter: where she is, what she is seeing, her vitals, and she could even filter graphic content. Like she is able to blur anything graphic out.

Parents commonly believe that they can’t do wrong, but “Arkangel” is a prime example of the opposite opinion! Helicopter parenting is very prevalent in our society, and it may reach the heights of this episode. We already microchip our dogs and cats, what’s gonna stop parents from microchipping their kids if they are able to?

In “Shut Up and Dance,” a character is manipulated into doing what a mysterious third party tells them to do, otherwise, they will reveal to the world that they look at child porn. The way they got this information: a simple virus.

Black Mirror may seem like something surreal and impossible because we aren’t as technologically advance, however, it does express our dependence on technology greatly.

Technology is an integral part of our society. We would not be where we are without it. However, with great power comes great responsibility. It is our responsibility to ensure that our relationship with technology does not become parasitic. We don’t want our world to fall apart, like in the episode “Metalhead,” where humanity is on the brink of extinction because of invincible robots whose only job is to kill humans. A reasonable assumption about the origins of these robots would be that they were used by some armed force that eventually lost control of them and then the robots could not be stopped.

While the possibilities are endless when it comes to technology, we must not fall victim to greed and gluttony with it. We must set our boundaries with it, otherwise what would that make us? We don’t want to lose our humanity, because if we do, we’ll be technology and not human. We control technology, not the other way around. Otherwise, our world will become like the one described in Black Mirror.