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Black Mirror is a British TV show released on December 4, 2011. It relates to modern society and how technology is affecting our everyday life in a dangerous way and the way we interact with it while affecting ourselves and our community. The title of this TV show was entirely according to it because it means the black mirror that you find in every technology device, either cell phones or laptops, and the worst thing about it is that it reflects yourselves on it. Over time, technology has been evolving until that point that makes us think that is dangerous for its users, criticizing it that it makes us addictive to it. Should we blame social media and technology or its users? Do we use it or does it use us?
“Nosedive” is one of the episodes of this famous TV show; specifically it appears in season 3. In this episode everything is based on ratings of 5 stars which affect what you can do or not in your life; in other words, it impacts your socioeconomic status. People rates each other depending on how well you treat them or how well you look or post photos on social media. Depending on how much stars you have, you can have discounts in an exclusive residence or you can have a better job. This episode is about a lady called Lacie who has a wrong idea about what success in life really means; she is a young adult that get obsessed with her ratings to reach some goals in her life for instance, get a better job, live in a better residence and go to a friends wedding until that point that she makes everything possible to get five stars, despite she likes those activities that she makes in her daily life or not. In some scenes, it was displayed some people that have 2 or 3 stars and how the people treat them with unrespect, judging them for not being agreeable to society and not being part of high social status. This show ends with Lacie getting 0 starts in her rating because she started treating in a “lousy” way to people because she was tired on being agreeable to everyone and went to prison, but she was happier because she finally could get over with that obsession.
I believe that technology has brought many advantages to society, and without its existence, the evolution of the world could not have been as great as it is nowadays. Thanks to technology, social media have been created, and people can communicate with others despite the country in which they are. I live in Houston, and several members of my family live in Venezuela, I can communicate with them every day, and I feel pleased because I can be in contact with them despite the distance thanks to the several ways of communication such as, Skype or WhatsApp. Black Mirror is related to what is happening to society nowadays, and it reflects the advantages of it; Lacie communicated with her friend Alice who was a friend from his childhood.
Although, it demonstrates the worst thing about social media due to the wrong use that humans give to it which is that Lacie whatever do in her life is related to the social media and her ratings until that point she gets “crazy about it.” She tried to be in the whole TV show a person that she is not; for instance, she practiced her laugh during several minutes in front of a mirror to be more attractive to people. The majority of the people get obsessive with social media because we, as humans, are very tentative and curious. Lacie went to a wedding of her friend just for her ratings, and despite all of the problems that she had on her way, she went because she wanted the approval of society, which means better ratings and more popularity. On the other hand, his brother disagreed with her several times for that obsession because he had a different point of view about social media. Those scenes clearly demonstrate that the social media uses us, instead of we use it, and everyone is responsible for our actions.
This episode written by Brooker with Michael Schur aims at the anxiety of modern society with a simple quantification. What I found interesting about “Nosedive” is that it is connected to the reality that we face nowadays, it not just a science fiction TV show like many others. The writer tried to make a connection to its audience that directly or indirectly faces what is reflected in that episode because everyone is connected to technology, but the difference is how everyone uses it. Although it is difficult to believe, we are not so far to get until that terrible point that everything revolves around social media and what people think about you. Making parallel to our reality, nowadays everyone uses social media to build a self-identification and self-image in order to many other people to see you and get a good impression of you. People are capable of gaining more followers by adding several funny posts, using hashtags to make it possible everyone sees your profile no matter you know that person or not, and interacting with those followers to be an agreeable person. On the other hand, people who had terrible experiences either with a person or a company, try to make bad comments such as complaints in their post to lose followers and to make them have a poor reputation. One of the apps that exist nowadays is called “Peeple,” where you can rate people you know in the romantic, professional, and personal field. It is incredible the similarity that it has with the app used it in “Nosedive,” and it is said that this app was an inspiration for Charlie Brooker. Lacie reflected those actions really well in the episode when she posted a photo of a coffee that she did not like, and she started gaining comments and likes.
What I found interesting and surprising about this TV show is that app that was used during the episode which seemed to be unrealistic and that I thought it does not exist, it actually exists, and it is called “Peeple” as I mentioned before. Having seen Nosedive made me investigate more about that real app that is so similar to the one that is used in the episode. Those two apps share several similarities. As well as the app used in Nosedive, “Peeple” lets you look the profile photo of the person that you want to rate; in that app, you can rate your experience with that person and leave comments. I found this app so interesting that terrifies me that everything can revolve into this in the near future. Even though, it has received criticism over concerns of cyberbullying because many people don’t like those types of app as well as good comments.
Although the technology has brought many advantages to our world for its evolution, it may also have its disadvantages on people making them obsessed with that, but what we really do not know is that we are the guilty of the wrong use we give it to it. In my point of view, the ratings did not hurt Lacie. She is a lady with a weak personality who let an app-dominated her. “Nosedive” is the best example to notice that we are the only ones who hurt us at the moment of having an obsession with technology. I consider myself as a person who likes technology; I find it interesting the facility that it brings to me, and I like to use social media moderately. However, having seen this episode, I could say that it opens my eyes and made me think critically about how dangerous can technology can affect ourselves. I realized that we should use social media because it is interesting and amusing, and it let us do several necessary things, such as communicating with other people as well as informing us about recent news or events. We should use the technology and social media moderately while living the real world, rather than a virtual one.
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