If you haven't seen the new three episodes of season 5 of Black Mirror, I encourage you to do so now.
Our world as we know it has turned into a place where sometimes we value time with our phone or laptop more than we do with our favorite people. It has become so bad that people are developing an addiction to it.
The following topics may not be easy to read, but they need to be talked about.
The first episode in this new season highlighted a virtual reality video game that when played, the two players' bodies were overtaken by it. They became so addicted to it and eventually realized that they could do and be whatever and whoever they wanted to. One friend always chooses the same girl avatar and the other always chooses the same guy avatar. In a quick instance during one game, their avatar's engage in a sexual relationship. They both feel awkward and their relationship is questioned where it stands. The friend who plays the guy avatar is a married man and after playing the game more and more while keeping it a secret, his wife feels unloved, undervalued, and unwanted because she can tell he is not the same person he used to be. His relationship becomes strained and almost ends because of his addiction. His friend pressures him to continue playing anyway and says, "it's not cheating, it's just like porn." In the end, the situation is discussed and the husband and wife settle on an agreement that he can keep playing once a month as long as she's allowed to take off her ring, go to a bar alone, and get involved with other men.
Does this feel wrong to anyone else? He was so addicted to this technology and the sexual aspect that came with it, that he was willing to nearly ruin a marriage with a real person that he loves. This situation cuts off true love and communication which is vital to a healthy marriage. This is such a serious problem in our world today because people think, "it's not cheating, it's just like porn." Wrong. Don't allow a person on a screen grab your attention more than the people you love that are standing right in front of you.
The second episode showcases the effects of a car accident tragedy caused by distracted driving. The main character was driving himself and his girlfriend during the night. She fell asleep so he got bored and his phone received a notification from a social media site. He looked down for just a few seconds and that's all it took to end his partner's life and the driver of the other car. He ends up becoming an Uber driver and plotting out a kidnapping of a person who works at that social media company that he blames. Throughout the episode, you clearly see the mental health issues becoming prevalent in the man. He does not truly want to hurt anyone, but instead just wants the CEO of that company to listen to his story. The awful trauma that this man had to go through after his grave mistake costs him his own life after the authorities kill him during a scuffle.
It's just not worth it. Holding your phone to see that Snapchat, or like on Instagram, or comment on Facebook from your great aunt Linda just does not matter enough to ruin lives. Not just even those lives involved in the accident will be transformed, but also all of the loved ones. It's an irreversible deed so just wait until you are stopped.
The third episode on this season highlights many issues on the topic of obsession and the image we want society to see. It shows two very different lives of a pop star and a high school girl and her family. The two stories become connected because the high school girl buys a talking toy that mimics the pop star. The girl is a huge fan of the pop star and allows the toy to become her best friend. It makes her sister jealous and the two get into a big argument. In the pop star's life, she wants to change the image that her manager makes her show the world. The manager has been feeding the pop star pills that allow the manager to manipulate her more. After finding out what her manager's true intentions were, the pop star begins to collect evidence to convict her. Her manager beats her to it, drugs her food, and puts her in a coma. The manager uses technology to still pull music from the pop star's brainwaves to continue to make money. The toy that the high school girls have ends up revealing this truth and the girls embark on a rescue for the pop star.
Even though this episode has a happy ending, it reveals how the current generation is bringing isolation into their lives by treating technology as real relationships. It also tells the feelings that celebrities may be going through and the obsession with how we all want to portray ourselves. People get very defensive and angry when their image is not held up when in reality, we all are human and can be whoever we want to be.
The satisfaction you get from notifications, fake relationships, and fame is so temporary. You will just constantly be searching for more and never be fulfilled by it. Only true relationships can do that.
Would you allow your technology addiction to affect the outcome of your life?