So what is black mirror about? At first glance, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror explores how technology dominates our lives. The meaning of the title has something to do with the dark reflection of our society and the reflection you see on your device once it is turned off- a black mirror. Depending on the narrative of its episodes, the show sets in the near future or an alternative reality in the present. For a television sci-fi series, Black Mirror has managed to do something astounding- predicting the future.
It’s often unsettling how spot-on some of its predictions have been. Scientific fiction mostly takes place within the ambit of possibility. But, it often takes years or even decades for their predictions to become a reality.
However, in the case of Black Mirror, the series has only been on the air for three seasons, and already some of its outlandish suggestions have come true.
Let’s take a look at the best black mirror episodes of the dozen instances when the show predicted the future as we know it today.
The Entire History of You – Season 1, Episode 3
This episode is set in a world where people can record everything that happens to them and replay it at a later date in the future. This technology is on its way to becoming a reality.
Large IT organizations such as Samsung, Sony, and Google are working on Smart Lenses that will capture the events of day-to-day life, allowing users to play them back when needed.
Nosedive – Season 3, Episode 1
This one is probably the most interesting episodes of Black Mirror until now. Bryce Dallas Howard’s character gets obsessed with a rating system where people can rate each other from one to five based on their social interactions.
That rating determines what a person can and can’t do in their life. From buying homes to booking flight tickets, everything is based on your rating. The real-life application of this system will soon be seen in China by the name Social Credit. The Chinese government is compiling digital records of their citizens, installing cameras across the nation, and planning on capturing information to rate all citizens.
These future technology predictions are quite spooky, isn’t it?
Be Right Back – Season 2, Episode 1
This episode sees a woman replacing her boyfriend with his synthetic alternate, designed using his photos, videos, and online behavioral history. There is enough proof for us to think that we would be able to live forever someday.
This company has a lofty goal of allowing people to live beyond death by transferring their frozen brains into robots. Would you mind that?
White Bear – Season 2, Episode 2
This episode revolved around a population getting obsessed with their smartphones so much that they lost their ability to experience anything out of digital. This concept justifiably meditates on our ongoing obsession with the miniature screen.
Our technological addictions are forcing us to abuse something that can be utilised for the larger good. ‘White Bear’ points out one of our recent fixations in particular- Pokemon Go.
The episode sees people who can’t be torn away from their screens. That behavior resembles people’s attraction toward the game that got instant popularity last year.
Fifteen Million Merits – Season 1, Episode 2
This episode talks about a world where people are essentially batteries. They generate energy in a power plant by doing some sort of physical activity.
Given advancements in technology, this is not a far-fetched idea. MIT has created a wearable electrode, through which we can create our energy supplies. Also, some inmates in Brazil can choose to pedal stationary bicycles integrated with power units to increase the energy supply for the area. In return, they get some time cut off from their sentence.
White Christmas – Season 2, Episode 4
The sci-fi series’ Christmas special featured the tragic story of a man who gets dumped by his wife. The ex-wife then proceeds to block the man out of her daughter’s (and her) life. Both then present themselves in indistinct forms in each other’s presence, unable to communicate with each other.
Scratching your head about its relevance today?
This scary vision does not only highlight future technology predictions but something that has already manifested in our reality. Google+ let users virtually erase connections from their accounts, profiles, and photos, bringing them to resemble a real-life block.
Shut Up And Dance – Season 3, Episode 3
Do you believe your online activity is a hundred percent secure?
We’re not so sure.
This episode shows a cybersecurity attack on a man through his webcam using a random software. The attackers then blackmail him, and things turn dirty.
This is the reason why the likes of Mark Zuckerberg tape their webcams.
The Waldo Moment – Season 2, Episode 3
In this episode, a comedian brings a blue bear to life using facial recognition and that cartoon, Waldo, soon becomes a popular public and political figure.
This closely resembles the new iPhone X ‘Animoji’ feature which picks up the facial expressions of users and connects them with the right emoji through facial recognition.
Hated in the Nation – Season 3, Episode 6
Bees are dying in reality due to climatic changes. This episode sheds light on the fact as its characters develop mechanical bee prototypes to counter the effect of dying bees.
The government tells its citizens that the bees are only developed to pollinate flowers, while that’s not true. The government plans on using mechanical bees for mass surveillance.
That’s all we can say to not give away any spoilers!
Black Mirror Predictions Make us Aware
The idea behind drawing these similarities is to make you more aware of the negative implications of technology. We believe technology can be used to achieve greater goals we have as a society and a generation.
But, when the use of technology and devices goes unchecked, we might move towards a generation so aptly outlined in the popular sci-fi series Black Mirror.
Becoming aware of the far-reaching implications of future technology predictions use can benefit us in so many ways. We will become more mindful of how we are consuming tech and course-correct if our actions need change.