While watching Black Mirror, I believe all of us have questioned the world around us. I watched the series for the second time and I can say that it hasn’t lost its effect of being a “mirror” to show how technology influences the society. In the episode, the technological instruments used by the characters are so similar to ones that we use nowadays. This makes the whole episode more real and the whole story more intriguing.
The characters ride bikes and gain merits during most of their time, and the rest of the activities are to watch the screens and spend merits. This situation can be associated to the conditions of today’s people who are stuck in an office and become pawns of the system. With the effect of the advertisements that we are constantly exposed to, we want to consume more and more instead of thinking about the time and energy that we spent to earn money. Finally, most people believe that the things they could buy reflect their identities. This is also depicted in a scene where a woman character says that “I love gold. I feel like it really expresses who I really am.”
In the episode, buying the ticket which helps them to become a famous person and gain their “freedom” is the utmost goal of the characters. Comparing to today’s society, this is not much different than the goals of many individuals. In media, the lives of the famous people are shown like flawless in contrast to ordinary people’s problematic lives. People are encouraged to believe that becoming famous is one of the easiest ways to break the vicious cycle. This kind of system is also supported by the popular reality shows. The episode also criticizes these reality shows.
Other things that come to my mind are related with the scene where Bing couldn’t give the ticket to Abi but his avatar gives it to her avatar. This makes me realize that we are not that far away from that kind of end. For instance, many of us started to send flower images and emojis to each other on special days. Many things have been losing their meanings and becoming more and more virtual.
I think the most important part of the episode is the speech of Bing on the show. However, the story of him didn’t go as expected and we watched him becoming the part of the system and having bigger screens.
After watching the episode and thinking about it, I read some reviews about the episode to see what the other messages could be understood. The reviews were basically similar things with my thoughts although some of the reviews helped me to think more about the details that I hadn’t paid attention. There was one of point of view which I was fond of and it implies that the screens in their rooms are metaphors for the phone screens that we ‘stuck’ in today.
Although the possibility of the depicted future is frightening and makes me to feel depressive, I believe that the main aim of the episode is to create awareness about the technology addiction. I also recommend you to watch other episodes to think about the relation between the technology and the society.