Black Mirror is one of those television jewels who, instead of hypnotizing us and making us forget the world around us, pushes us to be more critical of our daily reality. This is not a series as such, there is no connection between the episodes. We do not have to watch it in order and it does not force us to perform a marathon of hours sometimes difficult to digest.
Today we are going to evoke an episode of the third season named Nosedive. Although futuristic, this episode reminds us a lot of the world we live in. It's something normal in Black Mirror since its creator, Charlie Brooker, has repeatedly indicated that his inspiration does not come from fiction, but rather from our own contemporaneity.
nosedive reminds us enormously of the invasion of social networks that we are currently experiencing and allows us to become aware of the danger and the unreality they can show.
Bryce Dallas Howard plays the role of Lacie. nosedive presents us with a perfect world where there is no gray and where all the colors are pastel, from clothes to furniture. Everything is wonderful and idyllic in this not-so-distant future. However, in the same way as the social networks, this world hides a very very bitter face.
Lacie is the main character of this story, of this ecosystem in which people are rated by their popularity on an app similar to Instagram. A 0 is the lowest score and a 5 is the highest score. Thanks to the valuations of others and the network of contacts, one can get a better job, buy an apartment and get other benefits. What would happen if we took seriously what we see on Instagram? What would happen if we started to rank people according to their popularity on social networks?
Black Mirror, once again, reminds us of the most hidden face of our world. This positions us in front of a truth that we know but that we seem to ignore. If you have not seen the episode, it would be better to stop reading. Indeed, some spoilers will be made to deal with the most important themes.
Black Mirror: Nosedive, behind perfection
Daily, we consult Facebook, Instagram, Twitter … Everyone has their preferences, but it is impossible to say that networks have not been converted in a short time into a part of our lives. They are the image we want to give to the world, what we would like to be, but we are not: the best face of our daily lives.
In Black Mirror, the star app makes it possible to rate people, in the same way as likes on Instagram. The difference is that points are social points that work beyond the networks and that determine your life in reality.
Lacie is a popular young person although she does not belong to the elite. She has a good job but her life could be a little better. She is completely hooked on the network and is constantly trying to attract the attention of a former childhood friend, Naomi, a beautiful young woman whose life is perfect and who is about to get married.
Notes can be public or anonymous and the impact of a bad rating can be devastating. For this reason, all the inhabitants of this world try to behave in accordance with the norms, being friendly and appearing to be "perfect".
Just think of Instagram, on the accounts we follow, the most popular … are full of false happiness, of a painfully perfect beauty. What would happen if we transferred all this to real life? We can test an infinity of filters to be beautiful on the photos, we can measure a thing that we publish, but we can not please everyone on a daily basis.
nosedive tries to transfer the codes of our social networks to the real world where we would therefore act only falsely to try to please and show our best face. The likes that we receive on Instagram or Facebook would therefore serve us to determine our social position.
In Black Mirroreveryone is right with others, with an uncomfortable cordiality, for we know that in reality it is not real, it is pure selfishness. It is not a question of pleasing or helping, but just of improving one's own image.
Naomi offers Lacie to be her bridesmaid for her wedding. Lacie certainly agrees, despite warnings from her brother that Naomi has hurt her in the past. Lacie needs to go to this wedding because it will be filled with people with high marks and she will be able to reach the 4.5 she needs to finance the apartment she wants.
Naomi for her part does not invite Lacie because she is a good friend or to share childhood memories, but because she thinks it might be interesting to bring a friend of the college with a 4.2. Nobody acts with truth, nobody thinks of others, the "me" is the only one to exist, in collaboration with the image that I project of "me".
Stop being slaves
This extreme concern for the image, for the projection of us to the world reminds us enormously of our reality. nosedive is not improbable and it certainly reminds us of the situations we experienced.
We all want to share images of a succulent meal, a wonderful night with friends, an unforgettable trip, a simple coffee on the terrace … We analyze absolutely everything that we publish, we think of the people who will see it and the opinion that they will have it.
We live in a world that every day is less human and more technological, but luckily we keep in touch, the daily relationship with our colleagues and friends and we have a small space where we can be ourselves.
We all know what we want to be, some even do imitation. But is this really what we want? Over the course of the episode we realize that Lacie's personality is totally conditioned, she does not choose her food, eat what is socially good, do not like the cake that comes with her coffee but acts as if . This conditioning, this new way of acting and the extreme falsity shown by the characters make them incapable of managing a conflict, to say what they think for fear of lowering their rating.
Black Mirror immerses us masterfully in a dance of contemporary masks, filters of the real life, where everything is pastel, all is of perfect appearancebut nobody is really happy. Nobody can be so happy, no one can be always happy and no one can love everyone.
This extreme Instagram, associated with the wedding invitation will make Lacie obsessed with popularity. A fact that will be disturbed by a series of unforeseen will push Lacie to show his true face, to leave his mask aside and to be human.
Having feelings is human, just like not thinking like your neighbor or expressing anger. But in this world so perfect, the human has no place. The fall of Lacie is nothing more than a liberation, she ends up in prison but she is free.
It's not the walls that really oppress him, it was the company. Once on the fringe of this one, she can finally scream, finally be herself. The final scene in which Lacie "lost her mind", when she realizes that she no longer has a phone and she enters into an exchange of cries with her prison neighbor is a liberating scene, leaving room to hope. There is nothing more imprisoning than oneself, there is nothing more slavery than a dehumanized world.
"Nobody can be so happy."