A short time ago, at Gangnam station in Seoul, a maintenance staff person died while he was working inside the subway screen door because he could not avoid the train coming to the station. He got caught in the train door and lost his life. At that time, people did not call 911. Instead, they were busy updating the scene on SNS. Indeed, we can see that many people uploaded provocative sentences or videos to attract internet users. Typically, high school students’ videos show them swearing or attacking an old woman who has dementia, swearing around people, or even videos of fighting couples on the street. By watching these cases, I believe that science, which has been developed to help human beings, will eventually eat people up.
There is a British drama, Black Mirror, which criticizes society by showing people who are suffering in the world of developing science. Comparing our reality with this drama, we cannot find many differences. This drama consists of season one and two, with each season containing three episodes. Season 1 aired in 2011 and season 2 in 2013. Each episode tells different stories and gives us different lessons, and all of them tell about the side effects of our future society due to scientific technology development.
There was a phone call to the British prime minister who was sleeping. He heard the news of the British princess getting kidnapped. The kidnapper lets the princess tell what he wants by uploading the video on Youtube. What he wants is for the British prime minister to have a physical relationship with a pig and upload this video on mass media so that other people can watch it. When citizens heard of this absurd demand, they sympathized with the prime minister. However, as time went by, they told the prime minister to have a physical relationship with the pig to get the princess back. Eventually, the prime minister did have sex with a pig and the princess was released. However, there was a trick. Actually, the kidnapper released the princess 30 minutes earlier than the due time for uploading the video. As a result, most people did not know that the princess had become free because they were so absorbed in the video of the prime minister. By watching this episode, we wonder if we care less about other people than exciting or stimulating things.
People here make money by stepping on peddles while watching a digital screen after waking up in the morning. They make money according to how much they are stepping on peddles. Also, people have to watch advertisements on digital walls whether they like it or not. With the money they make, they can use toothpaste, make food, or skip the advertisements that they do not want to watch. In that world, there is a person named Big Madson. One day, he falls in love at first sight with Ebby Kan, who is a new girl in that world. He decided to help Ebby by letting her go on an audition for a show called Hot Shot. However, even though Ebby sang a song at the audition, she became a porn actress when she fell prey to the panels’ honeyed words. Then Big sank into despair and he worked the peddles so hard. With the money he saved by working the peddles, he got an audition. Then he threatened the panel and audience with pieces of glass, criticized the system, and told them he would commit suicide. However, the panel cast Big as he looked like a nice talker. By watching this episode, we need to think about our future where we are controlled by computers with the standardized system through people dying on bicycles. Also, we can think about how mass media drives people to think what they want us to think by watching audition panels.
In this episode, people have computer chips inside their bodies which memorize whatever has happened. That is, people can remember what they did and they can watch the videos of what they did through a television by connecting the chips with the television. Here, one man thought that his wife had an extramarital affair so he tried to find out what she was doing. He even went to the house of the man who might be his wife’s lover, got very drunk and lost his memory. The man found out that his wife cheated on him. The wife became aware of it and she tried to remove her memory and eventually the man was left alone. Through this episode, we can learn that we are not happy in this world which saves all our pictures, videos, audio files and even Kakao talk messages. Also, we can see that memories are not always for being remembered.
Black Mirror. What is this drama trying to tell us about? It may try to say that the reflection of our world in the mirror is really dark. All the people who watched this drama say that it is all dark and depressing. However, what this drama tells us might have already happened to us. Provocative videos on mass media already tell us about that. Media that drives a prime minister into a predicament; the society which commercializes Ebby and Big; and a broken family due to the development of technology are the stories that can happen in our real life. We should not blindly follow developing scientific technology rather we need to have humanity and ethical knowledge. Lastly, I hope we might be ‘White’, and not ‘Black’ after several years. < Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >