How Black Mirror Predicted the Future
The handiest way to describe Black Mirror is as The Twilight Zone for the iPhone generation but it often veers a little to close to real life for comfort!
The anthology series, Black Mirror, is created by Guardian journalist Charlie Brooker, and tells a different short story every episode, each dealing with a different aspect of modern technology.
One of its most impressive (and spooky!) achievements is its ability to predict the future. The dark show ran for two seasons (and a Christmas special) on Channel 4 a few years ago, and has since been renewed by Netflix. And time and again, the show has shown an eerie ability to foresee both technology and news stories.
Here are a few…
Prime Minister Pig Controversy (National Anthem)
The first ever episode of Black Mirror dealt with the British Prime Minister, terrorist blackmailers and a pig. The story seems to take place in present day, and shows how online streaming video, a collective Internet voice and a hunger for scandal conspired to a shocking finale.
TV Star Election (The Waldo Moment)
The past year in US politics has been… eventful to say the least, and it was predicted (somewhat) by Black Mirror. The Waldo Moment was about an outspoken, provocative cartoon character who ended up running for public office, and going much further than anyone expected.
Social Credit Scores (Nosedive)
The first episode of Black Mirror’s most recent series, Nosedive (pictured) follows a young woman in a world where every single interaction is rated on social media in real time. Of course, this is inspired by real life, established social media habits, but there are two things it did predict: social media’s influence on travel and bureaucracy (as evidenced by recent stories of airport security checking social media) and online behaviour affecting status, with “social credit” trialing in China.
Humans as Energy Producers (15 Million Merits)
The second episode in season one of Black Mirror followed employees on a treadmill as they traded energy for credits. While those jobs don’t exist yet, the technology nearly does, as MIT scientists are working on a battery that charges using human movement.
Contact Lens Cameras (The Entire History of You)
This episode is an exaggeration of social media habits that already exist – namely documenting every detail of our personal lives. Black Mirror takes it further by showing everything being filmed in contact lenses, so every moment can be pored over and analysed. In this episode, it’s a jealous husband who uses the tech to endlessly examine suspicious conversations. Video-recording contact lenses are actually in development now, and it might only be a matter of time before they’ll be linked to our social media accounts.
Black Mirror seasons 1-3 are now available on Netflix, with season 4 coming later this year. For more info on Netflix, just click the button.
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