I have loved the previous series of Black Mirror – particularly as it offers great content for discussions in teaching sessions – especially at MediaLit, with the insights of those being trained within a theological context, as we questioned the impact that the digital age is having on humanity. I’ve signed up for the free month on Netflix (we’ll see if I bother to extend it), and that first episode Nosedive was worth waiting for:
I’m a passionate advocate for the positive use of technology, and for our own consideration of use of technology – but not necessarily just our personal consideration – the input from government, society, companies making it, etc. and this was a fascinating insight into which the scoring system (which I guess I’m used to from eBay, Amazon and Uber on a smaller scale) could affect people’s lives in a distinctly problematic way…. as Charlie Brooker wants us to think about:
Brooker has said that the show’s name refers to “the cold, shiny screens” of the devices we’re so attached to, but it also seems to offer a message that technology reflects the darkest elements of humanity right back at us. Some episodes are set in vividly imaginative future worlds; the most disturbing ones, though, are set in the present, and shine an uncomfortable spotlight on the ways in which we’re already living. (The Atlantic)
Whilst watching this particular episode, however, as always, I’m thinking of the parallels with humanity past and present, and to be honest, this episode largely reminded me of many American films, in which young women try to be part of the ‘in-crowd’ at school, and the extreme amount of work that takes … and the freedom to be found from not ‘playing that game’ – which this episode highlights well. I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes:
“If we don’t like what social media is presenting us [with], we should look at society instead, not just the tool they communicate with.” Caroline Criado-Perez, 2013
Or as The Verge put it in a review worth reading: “If Black Mirror could be summed up in one sentence, it’d probably be “Technology is exciting, but people are awful, and they keep finding the worst ways to apply it.”
Now, next episode?!