Black Mirror Serves as a Warning for the Future
Black Mirror has been (hands down) one of the best shows I have ever watched…and it was a show I did not ever really plan on watching all the way through. Throughout the semester I have been forced to watch and think about technology in a way that I have never done before and it has made me really think about technology differently than when I first walked into our class.
Throughout the series, some of the reoccurring themes include artificial intelligence, crime and punishment, eye implants, and extreme surveillance. Some episodes even include several of these themes, such as White Christmas, and Playtest. Other themes seen throughout the series include politics, behavioral conditioning, digital afterlife, hacking, online mob mentality, technological enslavement and virtual reality. However, I think the most overarching idea produced isn’t always seen in the episodes…it’s what the episodes make you think about once they are over.
Many of the episodes include plot twists where I found myself in shock once they occurred. Two of the main episodes, when I think of this, is White Bear and Hated in the Nation. Both had endings that I could not have ever dreamed of occurring, however, made they me think about the possibility of these scenarios actually happening and how we could actually get to the point of them happening. The endings were so twisted, yet so insightful because they make you think about the horrible endings that technology can produce when humans use it in horrible ways. Black Mirror makes you actually re-evaluate how you use technology and how much of an impact you want it to have on your life. After seeing a few episodes I found myself taking a step back from technology and purposefully doing something else other than staring at my computer and phone.
One of the major ideas that I thought about once the episode and series were over was how in many of the episodes the technology was incredible, yet it was how humans used it that created the horrible outcomes. The technology that we see in the episodes is really amazing and I find myself in awe of the technology that they have imagined and what is really frightening is how close we are to many of the technologies we have seen in the different episodes. Black Mirror is a great warning to us because it shows what can happen when these incredible technologies are used in the wrong ways. The technology could be super useful, yet when used by the wrong people they have horrible outcomes.
I think what Black Mirror ultimately teaches us is that while technology can be incredibly useful, we need to put restrictions on it and ensure that it is used properly. Although we will not always be able to restrict the use of it, and there will be hacking, I think that the episodes serve as a great warning to see what happens when the technology is hacked or not restricted and used in all the wrong ways. The episodes make us take a hard look at the technology we use and the technology that continues to come out and ultimately decide how the technology should be used and who should have the ability to use it.