Charlie Brooker’s television series, ‘Black Mirror’, is set in the not so distant future. Films have represented the future decades ahead from when they were released; however, the majority of them have got it wrong. What makes ‘Black Mirror’ different? They have not set a date, time or even universe that they are in, leaving the universe to be interpreted by the audience. The way the show is written insinuates that it is technology from the future that is not too dissimilar to the stuff we use today on a daily basis. In this regard, the show almost seems relatable. But does that make it a good representation of what the future could be like?
Airing in 2011 for its first season on Channel 4, Black Mirror was a show in a category of its own, basing its story lines around technology and characters that the audience wouldn’t imagine seeing on any other show. It includes gadgets that seem as though they have been based off current topics and trends that people follow within society. The show has been airing since 2011 and has been increasing in popularity each year. It recently gained more interest since Netflix bought the rights from Channel 4, allowing Netflix to create and broadcast the new episodes that get shown.
Many people believe that technology will be the downfall of humanity, but whilst it may well be our destruction before it learns to outsmart humans, it will prove to be beneficial to society. Through healthcare, travel and general leisure, humanity will reap the rewards that technology will bring.
The show is set at a stage where humans are enjoying technology and it has become a part of their every day life. The technology that Black Mirror incorporates are items such as constantly recording eye cameras, rating systems that determine somebody’s social class, synthetic bodies that replicate deceased family members, and an afterlife that is connected to a cloud that is based on earth. All of these pieces of technology sound daunting, yet in part, appealing, and this is something that the show likes to utilize. With technology at its heart, it brings in characters to help tell the story and show how, with the use of technology, the characters hit a downfall and always end up worse off than they were before.
Similar technology that is included in the show is in development, and as well as that, some has already been made. For example, the constant recording eye cameras that are used in Black Mirror are extremely similar to Google’s product ‘Google Glass’. Although this product had its manufacturing stopped, it has been announced that they are going to try and reboot it. As well as this, the rating system that is incorporated in the episode ‘Nosedive’ is used in our own lives. For example, every time a passenger is dropped off at their location via Uber, they are requested to rate the driver out of five stars. The app then averages out all of the drivers’ ratings and allows the next customer to choose if they would like them as a driver or not, depending in part on their ratings.
Black Mirror is a television show, meaning it has to stay entertaining and produce a lot of drama to keep the audience watching every episode. However, despite the fact that it is a drama, that does not mean that society won’t get brainwashed by technology and allow our civilization to be moulded around it. With the average phone user touching their phone over two thousand times a day and spending up to 145 minutes on it, many people are consumed with their devices and it is something that the rest of the population has merely followed.
Black Mirror incorporates technology from the future and is an entertaining show to watch. I can’t give a definitive yes or no as to whether or not the show is a good representation of the future, however, I can tell that society is now shaped around technology and it is something that will progress. There has been the Stone Age, the Iron Age and now we’re currently well within the Digital Age, so of course, everyone is charged up for the latest piece of tech.