Hold a mirror up to nature

We are watching a Netflix series called "Black Mirror".  It is among the most riveting, yet unsettling, shows I have ever seen.  It is also completely different in its concept and delivery.

Each episode is different, a new vignette that revolves around an aspect of technology.  The first one, a near future dystopian piece, imagines a world where social media is not only pervasive; it is the way worth is measured and attained.  People walk around with iPhones in hand and rate each interaction they have, dolling out rating points constantly.  I sat there watching this disturbing story of likes and social media cred gone wild with my own iPhone sitting to my right, lighting up every few minutes with each new life of my latest Instagram post: the definition of irony.

Episode two explored cutting edge gaming while the third took us on an intense ride of a malware penetration that turns into a thrilled (and shocking) blackmail scam.

Technology has its tendrils in so many different aspects of our lives.  Mobile devices have evolved from being nice-to-haves to being sacrosanct.  While we once bemoaned the hours kids (and adults) spend in front of screens, we now find it easier to notice and talk about the scant hours when they (and we) are not.  Going for a walk, having a conversation, playing a musical instrument, writing a letter to grandma, playing outside in the years and reading a book have become the exceptions instead of what our generation once considered to be normal life.

What will normal life be like for our kids and the children they will have?  What about the generation that follows after that?  As that guy with the funny voice from The Princess Bride says: "Inconceivable!"

This series, if you're up to the discomfort it dishes out, would be a great activity for families with teenagers.  Watch, react, then discuss.  Awareness is the first step to changing anything.  This show "holds a mirror up to nature".  We may not like what we see, but it would get us talking about it.


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