Not too long ago my boyfriend suggested I watch an episode of Black Mirror called “Nosedive.” I had never heard of Black Mirror at the point I watched this episode, so I had no idea what I was in for.
In the article I linked below, Black Mirror is described as…
“… a British speculative anthology series created by Charlie Brooker in 2011, considers the murky relationship between humans and technology, the latter of which often threatens to progress so quickly that our ethical frameworks don’t have the chance to catch up. 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.”
My boyfriend and I have had many conversations about the increasingly rare genuine human connection, mostly due to a hyperfocus on technology. We’ve talked a lot about people basing their self-esteem on how many likes or comments they get on social media. We’ve talked about the fact people don’t pay attention to those sitting right in front of them or to what they are doing because they are glued to looking at their phones. We’ve talked about people only starting conversations based on what they see on their feeds. And we’ve definitely talked a lot about how much effort people put into the perfect post. And what a waste of time this all ends up being. Most people are no longer enjoying the present moment with the people in their lives, or creating solid self-esteem based on their own inner workings. Instead, most people are constantly distracted by staring at their screens and waiting for that external indicator that they are worthy by how many likes they get on their posts.
I am not immune to this sneaky addiction that comes over people and their social media habits, and this is a big reason I’ve consciously decided to remove social media from my daily life. In the end, it ends up being a pointless expression of myself, and I’d rather put my time and energy into other things. It becomes far too easy to get trapped in the endless scrolling, liking, commenting, and posting. I’ve gotten rid of social media in the past for similar and different reasons, but one thing that I’ve enjoyed is the amount of TIME I get back when I don’t get sucked into checking my feed and responding to comments! Instead of staring down at my phone, I look up at the sky. I’m more present, calm, and happy. It’s transformative, honestly. People don’t realize how much something takes up their time until it is gone.
So when I started the Nosedive episode and it opened with a woman running while simultaneously looking at her phone, I was not surprised my boyfriend thought I would enjoy it. I love the over-the-top satire of this episode. You get to know Lacie, who lives in a “futuristic” world of every little interaction being judged and ranked. Via a social media app, you are simultaneously distractedly engaging with others and being rated 1-5 stars on that interaction. The higher your ranking, the better off you will be is the premise (a high ranking doesn’t only mean you are worthy, but it can impact your rent too!). Your rank in this world is everything. Everyone in the episode puts on fake, strained smiles in hopes of getting high rankings, and true, genuine human interactions do not exist.
Here is a good article that gives you more of an idea of what the episode is about:
If you’d like to watch the episode, you can find it on Netflix. I highly recommend it!