Have you ever watched the Netflix tv series ‘Black Mirror’? If not – get started right now! Black Mirror is not another standard-we-have-seen-this-many-times kind of series. This is something different – a series that focuses on how the world could look if one extreme becomes reality. If we stop up look in the mirror and see how the dark side could look like. The series is based on a large amount of dark humour, irony and twisted plots. It is shocking, entertaining and mind-blowing if you ask me. However one of the episodes that really affected me is the one portrayed below.
Black Mirror Series 3 “Nosedive”
This episode focuses on social status and that this, in this world, is based on everyone ranking every single conversation/interaction/posting they have. The more likes the higher social status, easier getting a mortgage, promotions, jobs etc. It portrays very well a young womans strive to increase her social status and how much she works for this giving everything up and despite a high score – she is still not happy. This is so brilliantly illustrating our world today. How we admire people with a lot of Instagram followers, twitter followers, Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections etc. If you then have a focus then your opinion weights higher.
Today one kind of – measure of success – is based on the amount of followers one got. The more you have the higher we think of you being successful – being perfect at what you do. I believe this is more for the generation under 35 with exceptions of course – but for all of us this does make a difference.
Myself? I am exactly the same.
A friend of mine has started a coffee-blog. Before she started it she was a coffee drinker – just like myself – not putting much thought into it. Then she for a short period was unemployed and thought to herself “Why not start a blog about coffee”. She is amazing on understanding social media and within 6 months she had 15.000 followers. This is by no means to judge – if anything I admire what she has created however my point is how MY perception of her suddenly changed. Back to the story. We after her success with 15.000 followers went for a coffee together and I took myself thinking “I really hope she likes it” as this is one of my favorite coffee places. I mean – honestly – how stupid is that? Fair enough she is dedicated to coffee now – but because knowledge is now based on amount of followers and not education she could all of a sudden judge the taste of coffee better than me?
Afterwards I was actually surprised by my own fascination – how I suddenly looked up to her and was striving getting her acceptance of that this cafe was a good choice? Despite the obvious fact that if I like the coffee – why does another persons opinion of the place even matter? then also the fact that I felt more satiesfied if she found my choice to be good.
To conclude social status is becomming increasingly important and has now such a power that you can become a self announced expert by using social media to tell the world you are so. Am now going to be an expert defining what defines what is perfect? No I dont believe so but if I tell you all that I am maybe that is what I end up being percieved as? PhD can loose its power to the power of social rank which is no longer just money but how many that are interested in you.
I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this – have you experienced the same?