There are always discussions about super-advanced artificial technologies, virtual reality (VR), and digitalized social ratings when we talk about evolving technology.
Anyone can name one or two movies whose plot revolves around the aforementioned technological advancements. You have The Terminator and The Matrix. And if those are too old and classic for our younger viewers, there is Netflix’s anthology series, Black Mirror.
Recently, Mark Zuckerberg has announced his corporate rebranding under the name Meta as his vision for the social media app giant. It is where both the physical and digital worlds become one. Meta will be a space people can have accurate digital representations of themselves. It will be a digital place where people can interact with one another. The Facebook Founder believed that the future of social media is already headed that way with augmented reality (AR), games like Pokemon Go, and social media avatars. However, to some people who have seen Black Mirror, it is both terrifying and exciting.
What Is Black Mirror?
Black Mirror is an anthology series about the correlation between human behavior and technology. During its first season, the show was merely raising awareness of how technology could affect people’s lives no matter their status.
In its first season, there is an episode titled The Entire History of You. It showcases smart lenses technology that humans typically have to record everything they see and experience. In this setting, people have control over their memories just like anyone would with their phone albums. It seems sweet, especially when you can go over your work meeting in your head anytime you want. You can even relive a moment you love so much. Well, until things take a darker turn. The episode instantly set the tone for Black Mirror as it paved the show’s way to another season. Robert Downey Jr. even acquired the rights to the episode for a full-length picture yet to be made.
Now, if you have seen the masterpiece created by Charles Brooker, you would already know the parallels between Zuckerberg’s vision of the future and what went down in the show. For the readers who haven’t, this article will enumerate all the following prophetic similarities.
The episode Nosedive starred Jurassic World’s Bryce Dallas Howard in a society that strictly operates in social media impressions and ratings. Imagine a world where people would judge you based on how high your social media rating is. It might even be already close to how people judge someone’s credibility with the number of followers they have, but in this episode, even the way you live is affected.
The story follows a character who wants to receive a high rating to get her housing loan application approved. She does almost everything to get her ratings up until she loses everything in the end. Thankfully, we have financial and merchant loan solutions that are always there to assist those in need. Hopefully, the world will not get to the point where social media ratings are needed to live.
San Junipero is the first Black Mirror episode to win major television awards because it is also the first one to get a happy ending. Well, if you consider being happily stuck in an augmented reality a win.
The episode is cleverly set to make viewers think that it is a nostalgic and romantic love story—not until the last few moments when it is revealed that the characters are already old and dying in the real world. San Junipero is the AR’s name, and it is where people design younger versions of themselves as their avatars and live their lives. Many people in the story have passed away in the real world, but are still living their lives in San Junipero. Some even found their soulmates in there, proving that a heaven is a place on earth.
The episode is amazingly closed with a shot of big and countless servers with blinking lights that symbolize each soul uploaded in the cloud.
The Bottom Line
Thus, whether we are going to face the same situations as the characters in Black Mirror do, it is horrifying to know that there is always truth in art. What Charles Brooker started became a symbol for human awareness, letting us know that if we do not play our cards right, we can end up in technology-driven predicaments, too. In the end, Zuckerberg’s Meta is as promising and innovative as ever, but it is up to its users how to use it.