EAL AT2 – Perspective Essay – Lê Hoàng An (SACEi khoá 2)

Discuss the influence of social media on personal perspectives in the “Black Mirror” episode “Nosedive”. Compare different characters from the episode to support your response.

“Technology reveals who we are, but it also changes us, sometimes we are the ones being shaped and moduled”. The Black Mirror episode Nosedive SO3E01 created by Charlie Brooker literally portrays this idea and sends the audience the message about social media. The film is about a dystopian world, in which Lacie struggles to improve her social status, which makes her lose the true values in her life. By describing different characters, the episode shows the influence of social media on personal perspectives and warns us about the possible upcoming future. 

By demonstrating the contrast between the way Lacie and Ryan think, Nosedive describes how social media has changed the personal values held by individuals. In the film, some people value their image on social media and others value their true personality and other realistic features in life. Lacie is the one who is affected by the society based on the social ranking system. She tries to make her life wealthy and full of happiness by pretending to be satisfied with everything. This shows that she conforms to the system and relies on that to define her life and other people’s social status. Social media has changed people’s definition of happiness and satisfaction in life, making them become individuals with fake personalities. On the contrary, Ryan, on the contrary,

ignores the system and has a different definition of living happily. The conflict between Lacie and Ryan is pushed to climax when they argue about Naomi’s wedding and Ryan criticises Lacie’s fakeness. This shows that Ryan has not been affected by social media, the system has not deprived his personality. Therefore, the contrast between Lacie and Ryan shows the audience how social media affects each individual’s values and their behaviours based on those values. 

Secondly, the episode demonstrates the role of social media and how it changes the way we interpret the world. By portraying the fakeness in people’s attitudes towards each other, the film reveals to us the negative impact of social media on us. For example, everyone becomes obsessed with the social ranking system and they try everything to gain the highest scores. The score determines whether they are just a person of the “mid to low range of folks” or one of the “quality people” and the entry into certain places – restaurants, weddings, social groups hinges on the rating. Lacie ignores her colleagues only because she does not want their low ranking scores to affect her social status. Naomi also does not want Lacie to come to her wedding anymore because she wants to keep the image of a successful woman with friends from the upper class. This is due to the fact that social media has shaped people’s views on the living standard that they see. People consider the happy life that others post on social media as the standard to reach. In the film, social media has created an unrealistic competition, in which everyone chases for a fake satisfactory life. 

Moreover, the director wants to send the message about fakeness and judgement of the society towards individuals. The episode aims to make people realize that fakeness can make people lose their real personalities and values. Susan is the one who

tells Lacie about her life and how she has changed her life goal and her definition of happiness. When realizing the doctors and nurses cannot help her husband get rid of cancer, she “started saying what I wanted, when I wanted” and says: “People don’t always like that… It turned out a lot of my friends didn’t care for honesty.”. Lacie then has a moment of realisation, and it causes people to reconsider their pursuits. Being fake make them the prisoners of themselves and they must value other precious features of life more. The film also shows us the message about the judgement of the society towards people who have lower scores. People who have low social ranking scores are not appreciated; this is obviously shown through Lacie as she expresses her attitude towards her low-ranked colleagues and calls her brother “Mr Three Point”. In this dystopian world, people judge others and compete to gain scores for themselves instead of create a fair and united world. At the end, Lacie explains “the numbers game”, saying that “that’s how the world works”; this is the reflection of the judging and rating system that destroys individualism and personal characteristics. 

In conclusion, by describing different characters, the episode Nosedive by Brooker demonstrates the negative side of over-usage of social media on individuals. Therefore, the film shows the audience the picture of a potential futuristic world and warns us about the dystopian future of social media over-reliance.

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