The Shattering of the Black Mirror: The Consequences of the Digital Age

Ajla Nasic, Social Media Manager

The critically-acclaimed science fiction series Black Mirror has returned to Netflix once again with a fourth season on Dec. 29. The anthology is comprised of six episodes that explore themes surrounding the impending dystopian universe society may be thrust into due to an excessive dependence on technology.


From episodes revolving around the dangers of helicopter-parenting to a universe where every romantic relationship comes with a real-time expiration date, Black Mirror allows its audience to reconsider its obsession with technology and social media. Often compared to a modernized Twilight Zone, the hour-long stories typically conclude with a disheartening ending.


Prior to its debut as a Netflix Original Series in its third season, Black Mirror was initially a British television show created in 2011.* While it did explore similar dark themes, the series has since garnered a larger audience due to the popularity of the platform. Countless new viewers flocked to the show’s new platform after critics and casual watchers alike raved about the first episode of the third season, “Nosedive”, that explore the dangers of obsessing over one’s social stature.


While the Netflix Original has recently drawn in a more mainstream audience,  many viewers have criticized the series for dramatizing an otherwise beneficial resource. Technology, as a whole, has undoubtedly improved the lives of those who have access to it. Therefore, it may seem frivolous to paint an impactful gift to the world with a bad brush — but Black Mirror’s underlying themes delve further below the surface of society’s obsession with technology.


The series creatively explores that too much dependence on one resource could result in harmful consequences. The second episode, “Archangel”, proves this belief as a paranoid mother instills a device into her daughter in order to shield her from inappropriate and hurtful imagery in real-time. Unfortunately, her daughter’s inability to recognize the dangers of the world surrounding her ultimately result in her negligence of the harmful consequences of engaging in risky acts.

Black Mirror allows viewers a glimpse of a dystopian future — one that is not the fault of technology, but the fault of those refusing to acknowledge their lingering dependence of an otherwise positive invention.