This is me warning you that this post might trigger some feelings that might affect you. I’m going to be discussing an episode of Black Mirror my husband and I watched that I found equally fascinating and creepy as hell. Since this is my blog, I insist on talking about it but it might make you upset especially if you’ve recently gone threw a crushing lost of a human in your life. If you read past this warning and get upset, well, I warned you and I’m not responsible for how I may respond to your anger for ignoring my warning.
Black Mirror is a Netflix Original television show that mixes very futuristic things with every day life. I think I’ve talked about an episode before in which people were rated on their every day interactions with other people. For example, if you bought coffee at Starbucks, you’d rate the barista who served you. These star ratings ended up being important for things like wanting to buy a house because instead of a credit score determining if you can get a house or not, it was your ratings. Anyway, I’d have to go searching for that post if you’re interested in reading it cause I forget what I called it.
Last night’s episode was completely surreal. The premise of the episode was a woman and her boyfriend were moving in together in a house in a city in Ireland (I think it was Ireland. Could have been Scotland too). On the drive there, the boyfriend was pretty glued to his phone. He had up what looked like a futuristic Twitter and just constantly talking to people on it. She got a bit annoyed cause she was driving and told him to put his phone in the glove box. Then they turned on some music and did some singing the rest of the way to their house.
After unloading the car and touring the house, he stands in the middle of the room looking desolate because he forgot where his phone was. She reminds him and he goes and gets it and is back glued to the screen. They go to bed later and have some very underwhelming sex. The next morning she gets a job (she’s some type of artist) and he decides he wants to go to town for stuff. Well, he never comes home. The cops show up to tell her that her boyfriend died and we assume it was because he was texting and driving.
At his funeral, while she’s grieving, a woman sits to talk to her and give condolences and then she randomly blurts out that there’s an app that the woman can use to talk to her boyfriend again. She says he’s a good candidate because he was a “heavy user” and that it would help ease her mind to get to talk to him again. Understandably, our main woman gets pissed off and tells her to shut up because he’s gone and that would be cruel. Over the next few days though it weighs heavily on her mind especially when she finds out she’s pregnant. The woman ignored her anger at the funeral and signed her up anyway and one day she gets an email from her dead boyfriend saying hi and that it was really him.
Basically what this application did was aggregate everything on public record that he ever posted on his social media feeds or forums or anything where he had an internet presence and sort of emulates him. The more you feed it, the smarter and more intuitive it gets. She ends up talking back and forth via email and then one day he tells her he can actually speak to her, like on the phone. So she feeds it personal video moments they shared and next thing you know they’re talking on the phone. She was really sad about it at first but then she began to realize this is something she needs.
It goes on for some time until she wishes she could see him; hug him in person. He tells her its expensive but possible. She doesn’t care about the cost and next thing you know this big box arrives to her house with this squished human in it. She has to put it in the bathtub and feed it electrolytes and then after like a day her deceased boyfriend comes walking down the stairs. At first she was freaked out, like super freaked out but I guess her internal self said she needed this and she grew to be super happy about this. Remember when I told you they had underwhelming sex? Well this boyfriend is very good at it because he was able to go learn things from watching internet porn. A lot of these little things come back full circle that we subtly noticed in the beginning.
After a time however, she begins to get sad again and upset about this form. She realizes it’s not the same as the actual person. You have to teach this one pretty much everything and he doesn’t understand that it’s okay to disobey things sometimes and argue. He agrees with everything she says, and like with the music singing in the car, he thinks the songs are cheesy even though his real self loved the songs. By the end she realizes this whole coping thing she thought would help her grieve just made her grieve 1000x more.
After the episode, my husband and I sort of looked at each other and wondered if either of us were to die suddenly and that crazy tech was available would we do it? Well, we both decided the whole scenario just freaked us out. On the one hand, I understand because it was a sudden lost and you weren’t ready but on the other hand to basically talk to a computer emulation in a human body would just be too much for people like us. The whole point of grieving is to have the ability of letting go one day. Watching this episode made me think of people who get their pets cloned because they never want to lose them. But with every clone, it’s slightly different than the original. But then I think about how it’s helping the person cope with continuing to live their life and I want to think that it’s not so bad but a part of me is screaming that I just can’t see it being helpful in the long run. I guess that’s why we’re all different though right?
If you made it to the end of this post, have you ever watched an episode of Black Mirror? What do you think of this concept of technology being able to make a person almost immortal? Let me know in the comments below!