Black Mirror: Exposing the Dark Side of Technology

Movies and soaps are like a representation of the society, albeit in a much more exaggerated way (many a times portrayed with bad acting). But as far representations go, its sad to think that we see our future to be dominated by something that we have created over the years. Technology was our creation, meant to make our lives easier.

Over the years, many movies or TV shows have come up which deals with different dystopian scenarios having technologies that will blow your mind. With flying cars to flying humans, you name it and we have it in our movie. However, the kind of TV programmes or movies that has really made us think or actually re-think our choices, are those which are eerily similar or close to the reality we are headed into.

Black mirror is one such television series, depicting the ways in which we alter or change the rules of our society in the future, be it in terms of how we use our technologies or how we deal with the public justice system. Even if the show doesn’t scare you, it will sure enough make you think about the future we are headed into. Take for example the fairly common concept of self-driven cars, you sit in a taxi, you don’t get greeted by a human voice, instead you have machine asking you how your day is going and subsequently delivering you to where you want to go. Imagine the percentage of people who are in the transportation industry, imagine the amount of unemployment this will give rise to. This is still a tamer version of the change progressive technology will bring about. Many shows dealing with self-driven cars have depicted this, most noted among them was an episode on X-files, who had an entire restaurant managed by robots , from the cooking to serving, everything was done by machines. When we think about technology this is the most common leap that our curious minds takes. A self-driven car, a restaurant regulated by machines or even a flying car.

What Black Mirror does is play with this concept of progressive technology and take it a step further. We all love playing video games right, the more realistic the better. In one of the episodes in the show, technology which plays with the concept of layering reality is seen. The player actually gets to live in the house and confront his deepest fears, and I’m not talking about an afternoon playing Roy as shown in Rick and Morty. This episode is dark and shows the players confronting their deep-seated issues. The ending will leave you horrified and make you question how video game testing is actually done in real life.

In another episode, the concept of rating people is involved. The same logic that we use behind rating rides on Ola, Uber, Swiggy, or Zomato is portrayed in a much larger sense. Here, people rate other people, based on anything you think about them. Basically, how nice you are to others, the kind of place you live in , the kind of job you have, all end ups as a culminated rating you get on a total of 5 ( 4.5 and above being the preferred one ). So imagine how fake you have to be in order to get a good rating. Imagine how many swears you’ll have to swallow, because your life literally depends on it. Because if you have a bad rating you can get fired from your job, or rejected as an applicant in a gated community you wish to own a house in. The part that is scary is not even about the fact that this episode can translate into our near future , the part which makes me uncomfortable is the fact that its already happening. China’s social credit set in 2014 aims to reinforce the idea that “keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful”. A demo of this is already in place and this entire system will be operation by 2020.

Black Mirror plays with the concept of extremes. From automated bees to artificial simulations designed to find your perfect match to a woman’s handling of grief, this show will equal parts blow your mind and horrify you. It is a depiction of a dystopian future which is very swiftly approaching us all.

Picture Credits : www.endemolshinegroup.com

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