Black Mirror

A few weeks ago I saw a trailer for the third season of a show on Netflix called Black Mirror. I had never heard of this show which surprised me since it was already in its third season. So I watched the trailer for Season 3 and was instantly hooked.

I was hooked because the trailer (see below) depicted a dark future. A future that is dark because of the advancements in technology. Well, not just the advancements in technology but how our everyday lives could be impacted by the new technology. And despite the dozens of shows I’ve watched depicting what our future technological lives could be like, Black Mirror is the only one I can honestly say scares me (make that terrifies me) about our future. Even more terrifying, is that I don’t see any reason to believe all of the technology couldn’t someday really be possible.

WARNING: The following video contains adult/mature content.

If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: Black Mirror | Official Trailer – Season 3 [HD] | Netflix

Back to the beginning

Knowing I had to watch this show and being one who can’t stand to watch television shows out of order, I decided to go back to the beginning and start with Black Mirror Season 1, Episode 1. It took all of 10 minutes before I was completely disturbed (I’m not even going to mention the topic of the first show here).

The first episode was so disturbing and controversial that I almost didn’t watch another. But I’m glad I did because the show just kept getting better and better. Before I knew it, I had binged watched the entire three seasons in only a few days (to be fair, there are only 3 episodes in Season 1, 4 episodes in Season 2, and 6 episodes in Season 3).

Highlights of some of my favorite episodes

If you haven’t seen the show, read a few of my highlights below and then decide for yourself if you want to watch the show. I will once again warn you though, the show does explore many dark and adult themes.

Season 1, Episode 3: The Entire History of You

Black Mirror - The Entire History of You

This episode plays off of a technology I have joked for many years that I wish we had. That is the technology to record every single thing we see and be able to play it back at will. Think of how many arguments this would settle.

Well, after watching this episode and seeing how this technology tears apart the relationship between a man and a woman, I no longer want this technology.

Season 2, Episode 1: Be Right Back

Black Mirror - Be Right Back

In this episode, a girl loses her boyfriend to a tragic accident. At his funeral, after seeing the woman grieving, another woman mentions to her that she found a way for her to deal with the grief and that she would share it with her, promising it would help.

Well, the grief method is to allow a computer program access to her dead boyfriend’s social media accounts, email, etc. Then the computer can start chatting with her as if her boyfriend is still alive.

This progresses into a new phase where the computer accesses all of the dead boyfriend’s videos and learns how to speak like him so the computer can have conversations with the woman, again, just as if he was still alive.

I won’t spoil the ending of the show but let’s just say it goes way beyond chatting and telephone calls!

Season 3, Episode 1: Nosedive

Black Mirror - Nosedive

What if social media progressed to the point that we as a society started rating every single transaction we have with each other as human beings? And then we created “classes” of society based on what your personal rating is. That’s the premise of this episode.

The main character is so desperate to increase her social rating that she is willing to fake positive social interactions to get it. She does this in hopes to meet the minimum rating set forth by a new social (and quite posh) community she wants to live in. But in her attempt to achieve a higher rating, she instead stumbles into several negative social interactions which end up excluding her from the very things she wants to participate in.

It’s a world where money no longer matters. Instead, your social rating is currency.

What do you think?

Have you seen Black Mirror? Are you just as frightened of our technological future as I now am? If you haven’t seen the show, do you now feel compelled to watch it? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Patric Welch

Patric Welch founded Noobie, Inc. in 2006 to help others effectively choose and use technologies to enhance their work and lives. The catchy company name earned Welch the name of Mr. Noobie®, but, in reality, Welch is an experienced and professional techie. Unlike most techies, Welch evaluates emerging technologies from a noobie’s perspective and provides technology education for all skill levels in a friendly, non-threatening way.

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