Charlie Brooker, the writer and creator of the television series “Black Mirror” explores the dark side of technology intertwined in our modern day lives. Black Mirror has three seasons on Netflix, with a fourth planning to air sometime in the beginning of 2017. Often taken to the extreme, the satirical manner of this show exposes the devastating possibilities of our nation involved with today's modern gadgets and technological products. The first episode premiering in the third season titled, “Nosedive” explores a world locked in a perpetual cycle of faux Facebook pages, likes, star ratings, and competition for acceptance.
This unsettling society is not too far off from the typical American experience today. Although highly exaggerated, the characters in the episode are dependent on “star ratings” from others. Every time you buy a cup of coffee, or engage in small talk, you hold your phone towards them and give them a rate out of 5. This point system reveals the shallowest impulses of our society. Not only does this point system affect your social impact on others, but it can limit you from being accepted from gym memberships, exclusive high end housing, etc... A society where the internal instant gratification social media allows is now outward and external. This episode shows how interactions with others can be highly superficial. The protagonist of the episode, Laci, is a social climber willing to do anything for a higher rating, until it eventually consumes her life leading to her downfall.
The ironic nuances played out in the episode critique the extent our society judges others based on looks a popularity. American culture is obsessed with beautiful celebrities, as well as our own likes and status updates. With constant gratification with the click of a button, we become trapped in our phones and social media accounts. The episode tries to show how Laci realizes that life is more than just a screen and artificial relationships with shallow conversations. Perhaps a world a little less self absorbed and dependent on the number of likes would be beneficial. How far is our society from the one depicted in the episode?