Arts

“Black Mirror” Reflects the Darker Aspects of Technology

Netflix’s Anthology Series is a Must Watch This Winter

By: Brenton Mitchell

What is humanity without technology? Or even worse, what can technology do to humanity?

Netflix’s “Black Mirror” is a show that makes you question the relationship between society and technology, forcing a re-evaluation of where we currently are and where we may be going.

On October 21, Netflix released the third season of the British original series worldwide.

The core concepts aren’t revolutionary; contemplation on “if we could” versus “if we should” has been around since 1993 with “Jurassic Park,” or 1968 with “Planet of the Apes.”

It has a very familiar twisted-tale style that is reminiscent of “The Twilight Zone.”

Every episode is an alternate reality where technology is the baseline for stories to take dark turns that even Stephen King approves of.

What makes “Black Mirror” special is it takes a different approach by grounding the future in the realities of today and establishing narratives that always remain in the realm of plausibility.

As a genre, science fiction is so intertwined with ideas of the future that it may as well be one in the same.

Whether it be sprawling cities with flying cars, humanoid robots walking down the streets or technological advancements we couldn’t dream of, the concept of “the future” is usually far beyond what currently exists in our world today.

This more realistic take on the future creates an interaction with the show that doesn’t exist within others of the same genre.

When everything that you’re watching is believable, the implications of what is occurring are even more effective.

When the future is too futuristic, the viewer can suspend disbelief with ease and take it as pure entertainment.

“Black Mirror” abolishes this premise, creating situations that not only develops a sense of dread because of what’s being presented but also that what’s being presented is already happening in the world today.

A recurring theme is the reallocation of power in society. As technology increasingly intertwines with every aspect of our world, so does the control of those who know how to use or manipulate it.

Examples of this would be computer hackers bending people to their will, extorting the dirty little secrets stored within poorly protected hard drives or people riding bicycles to create energy to power screens only to pay for the things they are forced to watch.

Technological advancement also brings forth unprecedented questions of morality. If it were possible to create a synthetic clone of a loved one who passed away, would it be right?

What if everyone possessed an implant that recorded everything you see and you could play it back and watch it anytime? Would you re-watch all the best and worst times in your life? These are the scenarios the show explores and questions that it brings to your mind.

One thing is for certain, whether it be the obsessive use of social media, evolving virtual reality technology or potential solutions for declining bee populations, “Black Mirror” creates food for thought that leaves viewers heavy in both body and mind.

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