Black Mirror: Nosedive

The Black Mirror series looks at a number of society where technology is used in various ways. In a lot of ways these relaities seem “farfetched” however these realities are a lot closer to our every day than we realise. This particular episode captures the idea of social media in a different sense. The higher likes, comments, shares, followers, retweets, subscribers, etc are similar to having a higher rating in the society depicted in this episode of black mirror. But how would a society function in this fashion? When looking into this episode its important to note that society runs in a very similar way. We live in a society not far off that depicted in nosedive. Although ALL aspects of life aren’t necessarily revolved around influencing and social media, a lot of aspects are – especially in younger generations.

When breaking down this episode, ill look into a number of questions that will further break down the logistics of “Nosedive”

Would this technology be accessible to everyone?

Similarly to phones nowadays, everyone has one. They’re more or less easy to obtain and you only really use one if you wish. This is shown in the episode as well seeing the main character (Lacie) meeting the truck driver who doesn’t care for the rating system. People will ultimately have the choice of using the technology however people who don’t use the technology are choosing not to conform to society and are more likely to be outcasts due to non-conformity.

How realistic is this form of technology?

This technology isn’t too far fetched. We are already living in a society where social media praise is a huge thing. Having a number of views and followers is becoming more of a desire than ever. Although the rating system looks as though its one app similar to WeChat (China’s Social Media app) that holds a number of different apps within the one main application. However in Australia we have freedom to use different platforms for different uses. Instagram = photos, Facebook = information, Tiktok = short video, Youtube = longer videos, Snapchat = single use photos. you can have a high following on one without having a huge following on the others. Whilst in Nosedive, everything contributes – even the way you treat others, how well you make your customers coffee, etc.

How would the law be enforced?

as shown In the end of the episode you see lacie cursing the system and swearing about the functionality of life. punishment is inflicted by lowering ratings. Individuals with a severely low rating are considered ‘at risk’ and a danger to society. Having the law surrounding the application means there would need to be a government body to regulate these “laws” and “punishments”

Would there be a change in city planning?

Not necessarily, its quite common for people of similar status and class to live in similar areas. People of higher class and status live In the “rich” areas and those of lower status don’t tend to live in the same areas – due to affordability.

Would there be changes in class and status?

This is an interesting topic when it comes to this episode. People of higher class have a higher rating. More “important” jobs, Living in more expensive areas, etc. I don’t believe that society would change much in this aspect. Jobs surrounding Law the people would need to have a high rating in order to gain clients, its almost like google reviews but on people. You can down rate someone who gives you grief or a bad experience, similar to giving people a 1 star review on Tripadvisor. It would be interesting to see how these high pressure and high class jobs would function with this rating system – just food for thought.

Safety Features

In order to maintain the standards of the system it would be important to have a number of people who are able to negatively impact the rating system should a person be misbehaving. Similarly to the security guard that gives Lacie “Double Damage” where every negative review or rating has twice the power it usually would. When it comes to the list of people who are able to do this, where does the list end?

  • Security Guards
  • Police
  • Teachers
  • Government bodies
  • Bouncers at clubs
  • Correctional centre guards
  • etc

The list could realistically go on for a while, inclusive of anyone who has power over a mass group of people. This also leads us into so many issues that we are facing today where people are abusing their power. Police, government bodies, leaders, etc. Will there be a regulatory body to file complaints of misconduct? having reviews of behaviour to see if justice was or was not served? There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to looking at a new form of technology taking over.

All In all, there are so many different things to consider when technology starts taking over. how would governments work, will there be new city planning, what are the environmental aspects to consider? How do Law and Safety come into things? What are the consequences of the technology? hopefully theres enough food for thought here.

Let me know what you think in the comments

Til next time,

Melanie

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