I'm back to talk about the important power, sometimes even abusive, that the medias have upon us. I talked a bit about what I think the role of a journalist should be but I also thought that, even though we don't always realize it, when you think about it, our life is constantly influenced by medias. They can make you believe anything they want you to believe, make you think the way they want you to think about things and isn't it our thoughts that guide our deeds in the end ? I don't wanna do a philosophical debate but there's a lot to think of.
And that's why I wanted to share with you an interesting tv series related to this topic : Black Mirror.
What is Black Mirror ? Good you ask. Well, it's a dystopian British tv anthology series (that means that each episode is focusing on a different story with different characters) created by Charlie Brooker in 2011. It denounces all of the wicked sides of our society, and more precisely, the impact that technology has on us : tv, computers, phones, medias... They kinda make us all the blind and wicked ones in the end.
What can I say ? It is probably the cleverest tv show I've ever watched, I HAD to talk about it. It's very dark, satirical and usually pretty shocking. In short, it'll leave you speechless and will urge you to question yourself.(I know for a fact that you will end in recovery position at the end of every episode. Yes. Believe me, it's a fact.)
In an episode called 15 Million Merits, our constant thirst for entertainment and the nasty power of medias are critized. The plot is set in a distant future (not so distant actually...) where each one of us is supposed to ride an exercise bike while watching reality shows, playing games, etc... to power our environment which then allows us to create money (the currency being called "Merits"). Pretty good way to earn money, right ? However, advertisements are constantly popping up on everyone's screens and no one can skip them without a financial penalty (you basically lose Merits). Obese peope and cleaners are also treated like garbage that you can humiliate as long as it pleases you. No so great now, is it ?
So basically, you are forced to live in a world where the only thing that guides your life is the vicious influence of medias that then compel you to buy and consume again and again and again... where the only thing that counts is to provide entertainment and get entertained, no matter what it takes. The ending is so powerful that I can only urge you to watch this episode.
Here's an extract in which Bing, the main character, makes a speech denouncing this nasty future, not actually so far from our reality : https://youtu.be/lHjIXCCHh3s
In another episode titled Nosedive, it's our longing for popularity that is powerfully mocked. Where the only thing that matters is the image of ourselves that we're going to give to other people, all of that illustrated by a system of rating. Every single thing you do, every single ecounter you make, every single thing you post on social medias, is rated by others, these ratings being also the equivalent of money.
Get a 4.5/5 stars, everybody will adore you & you'll be able to do anything you want, get a 2.5/5 stars, everyone will run away from you as if you had the plague while you will live a life of misery. So your entire life depends on how people judge you and how many points and stars you will get, leading people to be completely fake and false, not only with each other, but also with themselves. Even the way you walk and laugh is judged by others. But wait... isn't that already the world we are living in right now ? That also refers to the influence of medias, and more specifically of social medias (Instagram, Facebook...), exepecting you to follow their idea of "perfection" and one way of being. You're not really judged for who you are but for what you look like.
In the end, what this tv series does is denouce how easily suggestible we are with medias, that can make us all their puppets. We think we can continuously rely on them, depend on them, while they can destroy everything that really maters and even who we really are. The episodes usually have a futuristic and satirical vision of our society but this future isn't actually that far from us. By showing us a hyperbolic version of ourselves and the world we live in, it only urges us to avoid that, to prevent all of these situations from progressing and getting worse.
Two pretty cool trailers of the show :
So yeah, I thought that was a very interesting thing to share with you, based on this topic of how powerfully important the medias are in our lives (not always with good aspects).
That's it for today, I recommend you to try to watch this show if you haven't already heard about it.
Thanks for reading !