Opinion

Technology’s fictional hell? Don’t bank on it, this is the reality of our future

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There is rarely a happy ending when social media is involved. Not in the TV show Black Mirror anyway. But far from being a work of fiction, influencer Chris J Reed warns the bleak outcomes are a taste of our future reality.

Black Mirror is simply the most thought provoking, unnerving, compelling, spine binding, twisty program you could possibly watch on whatever device you watch on.

Starting on the UK’s Channel 4, ex-Guardian TV critic Charlie Brooker has produced episodes that make you want to watch one after the other. This is presumably why NETFLIX signed him up on a multi million deal after the first couple of series to give the waiting world 12 more episodes (6 to come from series 3 in 2017).

Being in social media I especially love the social media centred episodes. They really hit the nail on the head. Brooker has really cornered the market on gritty, unsettling drama that makes you empathise and recognise what is happening on screen.

What I especially enjoy about “Black Mirror” is bar one episode out of the 13 there are no happy endings and there is always a twist. You think “x” is going to happen and then BAM “8” happens instead and you go WOW never saw that coming.

Brooker has looked at the future of technology and even when he has seen advances he has looked at the dark side of what they could be used for by governments and corporations and shown you how they would do it.

You think these things are benefiting you and then you’re shown exactly how they can be manipulated to benefit someone else. More to the point, you’ll be screwed!

I caught myself in virtually every episode thinking they’re working on this now, or this is what is happening now or cover that camera hole on my lap top……. (Mr Robot is not the only program to warn against this).

The best episodes are the ones closest to home where you could see how in a few years they will become reality. My Top 5 are:

White Christmas

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Simply the best twisting, turning, unnerving episode with Mad Men’s Jon Hamm demonstrating how technology can be used to get anyone to do anything, as it effectively takes you on a nightmare journey of three stories.

Hated In The Nation

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Social media trolls, trolled. Ever comment about someone else and think that was that? Watch this episode and you may think twice next time!

Only Charlie Brooker could create a story about AI bees solving world climate change with social media witch hunts.

Nosedive

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Tinder meets Uber meets Facebook/LinkedIn – taking the logical next step that everything you do will be determined by your social media rating with all the upside and (of course) mostly downside outcomes. Compelling.

Shut Up and Dance
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Technology catches up with anyone who has done something in private with technology that they wouldn’t want the world to know about and have that turned back on them with devastating outcomes.

The Entire History Of Your Life

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Social media recorded in your eyes. Just all your worst nightmares coming true. All the things that your eyes see played back as and when you want or other people want. It’s like pouring fuel on the fire of any relationship argument. Captivating.

What’s your favourite and why?

Chris J Reed is global chief executive and founder of Black Marketing. He has been shortlisted for Social Media Influencer of the Year at the Mumbrella Asia Awards which take place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Singapore on February 23.

This article first appeared on LinkedIn.

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