The Black Mirror Future
And it’s much closer than you think…
Black Mirror is considered to be the Twilight Zone of our modern age. Originally aired in Britain on Channel 4 in 2011, the show is an anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that has reached an uncanny level of critical acclaim. Every episode looks at a future that is literally no more than 6 months to 5 years away depending on the story. Netflix quickly bought the rights for subsequent seasons for north of $40 million dollars and there seems to be no better pairing.
Within a week of Netflix announcing a long awaited offline viewing mode, Black Mirror gave us a future where Netflix is our only viewing mode. This meta video dives into just how weirdly possible even an awesome company like Netflix could adversely dominate our attention.
Black Mirror has represented a recent trend in TV and film showing the ramifications of the growing control that technology has over our lives. We’ll remain spoiler free, because you really should watch the amazing show, but it tackles topics and issues like human and robotic consciousness, politics, terrorism, relationships, crime, social currency and economic classes. There is never a happy ending, and those that are, really aren’t because there is always a catch.
Just this past week we’ve seen China come out with a credit score for your life, where every single thing that you do will give you a “rating”. That rating is important because if you have a bad one, you won’t be able to do basic things like travel or get a loan effectively. Let’s not forget McDonald’s creating self serving kiosks bound to replace existing jobs. It seems to be the nail in the coffin for the on-going minimum wage battle, and other fast-food restaurants are following suit.
France is jailing citizens looking at terrorist propaganda online, autonomous driving cars are now trucks threatening even more jobs. There is something new every week. How will the loss of all these jobs impact our society? How will the democratization of content creation and distribution affect what we have access to, when others are abusing it?
No matter what is happening in the world, as we pour into technology to make our lives easier, it’s our responsibility to make sure that as a society we move more towards harmony as opposed to away from it. Marinate on it, recognize it, and be the ones to make it happen, so that our future looks more like The Jetsons as a opposed to a Black Mirror episode, even though we can’t wait for the next season.