Don’t Look At Me

I’ve finally fallen into the deep, inescapable hole that is Black Mirror. Each episode brings something new to contemplate regarding our love/hate relationship with technology and digital devices. Each with varying amounts of disturbing content.

I have seen episode two of season one previously. Back in second year at university we were told to watch it as part of a New Media unit. It got me thinking and has inspired musings around the idea of media, new and old, and how it changes and controls our lives. It has fascinated me for a few years now how new media especially, has completely flipped the way we used to live upside down.

I can hardly remember a time when we didn’t have technology in our hands. I was born in 1994 and therefore grew up with the introduction of digital technology such as DVD’s and mobile phones into the wider population. I find it hard to recall how we used to keep in touch, entertain ourselves or ignore someone throughout the 2000’s.

Our phones have become an extension of ourselves; somewhere we live when we don’t want to be where we really are. Bored, waiting at the classroom door at university is an example I like to use, as it perfectly comprises what it means to be a person in this day and age. Instead of talking to your class mates, making friends or simply discussing an assignment, we stand silently. Completely engrossed in our devices. But when placed in a classroom environment, forced to interact, we can talk. But, the devices are still there. Sitting on the desk, in your bag or pocket, waiting for the moment you bring it close to confirm your friendship with a classmate on Facebook or follow your tutor on Twitter. These devices now become a new way to communicate, in a round-about way we are more and less social than ever.

The devices pull us in, reflect our inner monologues, our deepest desires, even our fake facades that we display to create an online us. The us that we want everyone to know, to follow. Not the actual person, the person sitting on their bed making a TBT to feel relevant. They also reflect our actual face, the expressionless, monotonous scrolling appearance that everyone and no one sees all at once.

They are indeed, a black mirror.

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