(This newsletter issue may contain spoilers for Black Mirror’s episode Nose Dive.)
The better half of my weekend was spent answering comments from avid readers on my latest blog post
. As I struggled to recover from the constant email notifications on my phone yesterday, I spent my day thinking about the dark side of receiving a tonne of cheerful and well-meaning compliments from strangers on the internet and being overly obsessed with them.
This thinking, needless to say, took me back to one of my favorite episodes on Black Mirror, Nose Dive. The episode is about a young lady who lives in a world where social ratings are a currency that determines where you live, rent prices, social standing, and even employability. In a bid to raise her ratings from 4.2 to 4.5, Lacie encounters mishaps along the way that cause her ratings to keep dropping.
The episode starts with a sickening-to-watch interaction that is heavily pastel ridden with shades of strange peach colors, duck-egg blue, and peppermint green. The smiles from strangers are fake, and the superficiality of the interactions that audible through the screens in enough to make you wince. As the episode progresses and we begin to detest the harmful effects of the rating system that include Lacie missing a ticket and her childhood friend denouncing her as a maid of honor, we are forced to rethink the impact that social media has on our present lives.
In a world where we are all striving to create perfectly curated feeds and a calculated social presence, it is easy to feel the need to try and live out a perfect life which does not exist. The episode evokes this reality as well as the question as to how far we would go to maintain this image. As I strive to become a better writer and to attract more readers to my work, I must confess that the divorce between seemingly portraying a perfect creative life and a well-balanced personality is a struggle that I have had to constantly pull myself out of. I can only hope that the reminder that I am a flawed ridden and complex human being allows me to be just that.
Have a great week ahead!