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Lessons from the Drama “Black Mirror” – The Dark Side of Technological Advancement


The term “Black Mirror” stems from the reflection of a black screen when it or displays are turned off. It evokes the idea of self-reflection. The episodes of this drama primarily depict the potentially dark and negative consequences arising from advanced technologies in the near future.


Nowadays, platforms like YouTube and social media are widely used and have gained popularity for various purposes, such as freedom of expression and global information sharing. However, they have also brought negative impacts like addiction, privacy breaches, and public shaming (cyberbullying).


Let’s talk about one particular episode. There was a story about a person who became dependent on social media. This person, while driving, inadvertently glanced at the app to see a notification that someone had liked his post. In those few seconds of distraction he caused a collision, resulting in the death of his loved one. He understood that it was his own mistake but deep down, he might have felt anger towards the world. Technology and the phenomenon of “likes” had created such thinking as, “If this app didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have looked at my phone while driving.” Blaming technology might seem like a shifting responsibility, but one can understand the sentiment behind it.


In this story, the protagonist developed a grudge against the developer of the social network, who was the CEO. The tragedy was a result of the addictive nature of the platform, similar to the effects caused by cocaine or gambling. (guns don’t kill, people do) Of course, the developer didn’t intend to create addiction, tragedy, or victims, but as the number of users increased, the nature of the platform changed. It happened because humans have a lurking monster called “the need for approval.” Even YouTubers, who initially created videos just for fun and public sharing, sometimes will commit crimes just to get more viewers.


There is always a line that we should not cross.


One thing is certain: the speed of technological advancement is not equal to the speed of humans’ mental growth. Humans often struggle to keep up with technology. I, too, use the latest smartphones and PCs, but I can only utilize around 10% of these advanced functions, haha. The user manuals are too thick, and I lack the motivation to read them. But do we really need all these functions? Perhaps not. To use new technology properly, we must possess the right mindset, yet there are no user manuals or guides for the human heart and its usage. However, the rule of not harming or causing inconvenience to others is crucial.


The drama “Black Mirror” sheds light on the potentially dark consequences of technological progress, urging us to reflect on the responsible use of technology. It can be a reminder that we embrace innovation, but everyone who uses these technologies has a huge responsibility, as well as having an obligation to cultivate our humanity and learn how to protect ourselves from becoming victims and assailants.

Technology is advancing faster than our maturity to use it.