The Black Mirror Project

Black Mirror is a British science fiction television anthology series set in the near future that explores the potentially dark consequences of technology and social media. Each episode has a different cast with a unique story and, like most science fiction, it offers a prophetic warning about what could happen if we lose control and allow technology to control us.

The show, created by Charlie Brooker, was first broadcast on British television in 2011. It is now a Netflix original series, and some have called it a modern day “Twilight Zone.”

Recognizing its potential for the discussion of modern and future media, some colleges and universities across the country have incorporated “Black Mirror” into their journalism and communications classes.

This is a fan site. It is not affiliated with the television show “Black Mirror.” It’s just creatively inspired by it. We dream that Charlie Brooker will turn one of our ideas into an episode. For more information, email ldrucker@olemiss.edu. If you’re another educator who uses “Black Mirror” in the classroom, I would love to hear from you.

Black Mirror Reflection Guidelines

This semester, University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students watched four episodes of “Black Mirror” – Nosedive, White Bear, Playtest and Arkangel. Then they were given three instructions:

1. Think about the three episodes of “Black Mirror” that we watched. Think about technology and social media in the near future. Research the future of technology by Googling and reading several articles on the subject. Talk to friends, family and professors to get ideas.

2. Imagine that you’ve just been hired as a writer for the television show “Black Mirror.” It’s your job to come up with a storyline for your own episode, but you only have a week to do it or you get fired. Your episode will be featured in the next season of “Black Mirror.”

3. Write a one-page, double-spaced report describing your episode and the characters that you imagine starring in it. What technology is used and how? Think about a scenario involving technology and social media, and take that idea to an extreme. There’s your story.

Students who may find the assignment too creatively challenging are given the option of researching the future of technology and media, focusing on one aspect of it, and making a prediction about it.

You will find a collection of creative “Black Mirror” responses on this website that is designed to showcase student work while prompting discussion of the future of technology and media.

Black Mirror Reflections

You’ll find a number of student-submitted Black Mirror Reflections below.

 

Black Mirror Reflection: Socially Awkward

Everyone is addicted to their cell phones – to the point they cannot interact or communicate with each other confidently without them. Brode clings to his girlfriend. They hang out and get dinner, but they just shyly look at each other and text each other. They don’t talk. Because technology has made them too awkward to hold a conversation in real life.

Black Mirror Reflection: The Hunt

In my “Black Mirror” episode, there is an app made for hunters, and all the hunters put in money to play the game. All of the animals’ eyes have cameras programed in them because the governments around the world have slowly been putting them in their eyes over the years.

Black Mirror Reflection: The Game of Love

In the near future, babies are inserted with identical microchips at birth identifying them as soulmates. At age 18, young lovers must play a game to find each other that will end in love or death.

Black Mirror Reflection: Mr. Perfect

The year is 2025, and there is a new dating app recently released called “Mr. Perfect.” “Mr. Perfect” is just like any other online dating app where two people interact through the internet hoping they will find a romantic partner. However, this app is a little bit different because the women on the app control every aspect of and are the sole pickers of the men they wish to speak to.

Black Mirror Reflection: The First Amendement

In 2050, a law is passed that prevents people from speaking to each other aloud. The only contact allowed is through texting or some form of media. Some decide to fight back.

Black Mirror Reflection: Prospect

The episode would be titled “Prospect.” It would follow a D-I athlete in the year 2089, but after legislation against youth football and other sports pull the traditional varsity sports down in popularity, eSports have taken over as the top sport on college campuses.

Reflection: I Make Money Moves

Materialism has taken over the world, leaving the upper class rich, a small middle class, and a large class of poor people. Technology has advanced so much that people can read another person’s personal information from an app. This information includes what the person owns, such as the kind of car they have, how big their house is, fancy or regular clothes, and how much wealth they have acquired.

Black Mirror Reflection: Warriors

Each year, there is a recruiting process, but only for girls. Girls who have just became teenagers train for war. They leave for this journey on their 13th birthday.

Black Mirror Reflection: Always Watching

For years, ads have been popping up on people’s phones about things they have recently Googled or places they have visited. Since 2038, Sarah and the rest of society has been experiencing weird things. When they even think of something, it appears.  

Black Mirror Reflection: FilterMe

The year is 2078, and an extreme form of political correctness has taken over the entire U.S. A new software called “FilterMe” that was created three years prior to this time is installed on every technological device that filters everything you read, say, and type in order to regulate political correctness.

Black Mirror Reflection: The Robot Creation Center

It was a beautiful sunny day in Nashville. Jonathan Campbell, 33, who worked for the Robot Creation Center, woke up to the smell of breakfast.

Black Mirror Reflection: Locked Out

Jane, a mother of four, lives in Nashville. Her husband is leaving for the weekend on a business trip. Jane has to watch her four children by herself, but it won’t be a problem because she has a smart house.

Black Mirror Reflection: A Vision of the Future

Between the years 2050-2059, I predict technology will take over the world. Most cars in the developed world will be computer-controlled. By 2050, bionic eye implants will be used by most people, and they will be able to relay data and footage on the spot.

Black Mirror Reflection: Mesmerizing Advertising

Scientists are already discovering ways in which neuro-hacking, a thread of technological hardware, would work and how it could be used for neuro-science-based self-improvement of mood and health. But where there is good with newfangled machinery and techno-advances, there can also be bad.

Black Mirror Reflection: Neuro Hacking

A man named Tim Fischer has invented a form of technology called “neurohacking” in Germany, and the German government is using the technology to manipulate and control the citizens of other countries.

Black Mirror Reflection: Her Every Move

In a modern day twist of “The Truman Show,” this episode will implement the use of futuristic cameras and drones to follow the life of a young woman and document her every move, creating a live TV show that viewers can watch at any time of day. She will, however, know she is constantly being watched. She chose to do this, earning a decent amount of money and a large social media following in return. 

Black Mirror Reflection: Easy Place

In Easy Place, everything is convenient. Everywhere you look, there is technology, and nothing natural. The trees are holograms, the birds are robotic, and even the streets move right under your feet. There are no pesky insects thanks to the permanent insect barrier very high in the sky. There are only smart houses and buildings where everything comes to you, such as food, water, merchandise, and maybe even work or services.

Black Mirror Reflection: Maid to Order

Everyone has artificial intelligence in their homes in the year 2065, and they are using robots in their everyday lives. The robots do daily chores and make sure families stay comfortable. A couple, Dave and June, are arguing about whether or not add a robot to their family.

Black Mirror Reflection: Fake News

In the near future, when a baby is born, the doctors immediately place a new reality altering implant within the baby’s brain. In essence, this implant would be both an audio and visual filter that would allow people to fact check information in real time which plays very well into the fake news politics we see in today’s world.

Black Mirror Reflection: Every Moment of the Day

In the future, instead of having multiple apps, they will all be rolled into one that will resemble Facebook. This app, however, does not require you to do much work. Instead of having to type a post and send it yourself, the app will do it all for you.

Black Mirror Reflection: Phaxxon Industries

Trent Walters is a normal teen. He grew up in the suburbs in a middle class family, and had just graduated high school. He waited until the spring semester to enroll in college so he could work to save some money during the fall.

Black Mirror Reflection: Toxic

Nervous for her first day of work, Olivia goes to bed early. She wakes up, gets ready and leaves her house noticing a slightly different version of her neighborhood. Her parents Lexus SUV is replaced with a Tesla. She doesn’t know what it is.Olivia walks to the bus stop, grabs her Blackberry out of her purse, and it is an iPhone. Olivia has woken up in 2019.

Black Mirror Reflection: Bubble Buds

In the year 2050, scientists have recently created a new pair of earrings that are linked to an app called Bubble Buds. The earrings enable the wearer to use an app and see other people in surrounding areas. They can zoom in, listen to conversations, thoughts and feelings with the touch of a button. This proves problematic for a young girl named Carlie.

Black Mirror Reflection: WarFace

Seeing his only surviving family member live through what seems like a war every day, Kevin decides to search the internet for help. He stumbles upon a website called “WarFace,” a state of the art, virtual reality company that develops video games about wars and combat while studying the effects of what simulated war experiences can do to the brain.

Black Mirror Reflection: The New Digital Age

In the near future, any time you see something on social media that you like, you have the opportunity to immediately buy that item. Everything you see online has a purchase button right at your finger tips.

Black Mirror Reflection: Quikdoc

Society has begun using AI for nearly everything. AI has replaced doctors’ offices and created apps you can access from anywhere at anytime. The app the Wilson family uses is Quikdoc. Quikdoc is capable of doing anything a doctor, pharmacist, or technician can do. But sometimes mistakes are made.

Black Mirror Reflection: The Cure

My episode involves a futuristic world in which technological advances have allowed the government to have access to a cure for all diseases. This includes cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.

Black Mirror Reflection: Mastercar

Sam and Dave are two friends, who after Sam’s recent purchase of a new car, set off on a road trip from New York to California. While both are aware of the government GPS that comes with all new cars via the license plates, they aren’t worried because they figure it’s a free country; they can do what they want.

Black Mirror Reflection: Let’s Keep In Touch

In an effort to stay connected and keep track of one another on late night endeavors, friends downloaded an application on their phones that tracks their every move as long as they have their cell phones. This application becomes helpful when a member of the group cannot be reached or hasn’t spoken to a member of the group in a while. They view this app as a way to keep each other safe.

Black Mirror Reflection: iBrain

This episode is about a new technology that changes the world and affects peoples lives and jobs. This episode will be called iBrain. A chip that is inserted into a person’s brain that transforms their brain into an automatic Google search.

Black Mirror Reflection: Project Life Line

At the age of 25, any person who wishes to start a family must apply for the government program “Project Life Line” by submitting proof of their work history, academic career, background check, and contributions to society to be screened by the “Creators.”

Black Mirror Reflection: Fitbit

The U.S. government issues a law that requires all citizens to wear a Fitbit that is linked to a government database. They must meet a 10,000 step requirement every day and have their diets monitored so that the country can become a superpower again.

Black Mirror Reflection: Getting Personal

What if there was a world in which an app told all of your deepest secrets between current and previous relationships. Your exes would give ratings and explain the breakup to everyone.

Black Mirror Reflection: Two Worlds of Information

Two worlds exist. The people of the larger world are controlled by the media they consume. The people of the smaller world experimentally release media to the larger world to test their intelligence.

Black Mirror Reflection: AppleOfMyi

In society, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is no longer relevant, because humanity judges everyone and everything from the first glimpse. Wallace and Samantha have just married and are trying to start the family of their dreams. The new trend is a new mobile app that allows families to create their children in the image they want.

Black Mirror Reflection: For the Better

In 2034, after birth, each person is required to receive a brain implant called “MonorU.” MonorU broadcasts the thoughts every person has regularly, then displays those thoughts on a social media website called BetterU. Users vote to “censor” or “ignore” a person’s thoughts. Delvin McKinney, 17, is on the verge of dissenting.

Black Mirror Reflection: Real Life

In this episode of “Black Mirror,” a new system is introduced called Real Life. The system is still being tested, but the main idea is that it gives people the option to pause the real world going on around you. The system can only be used at home though, so it limits who and what can be paused.

Black Mirror Reflection: The Dating Game

The year is 2037. Developers of dating sites have created new software to make it easier to find your soulmate and take the hassle out of dating people you may not be interested in. This new technology allows you to scan a person you see on the street or look up potential mates and see their dating profile, which allows every person they interact with romantically or go on a date with to rate them and leave comments about their interactions.

Black Mirror Reflection: Glory Cult

Today, being religious requires going to church and hearing a pastor live and in-person. In 2045, the religious experience in America has evolved and physical pastors are no more since 2040.

Black Mirror Reflection: Chromosomes

Today, there are companies like 23andMe and Ancestry that allow you to send in a sample of your DNA to trace your lineage. In the near future, these types of companies and products will become highly advanced, pushing towards a more invasive industry with ulterior motives.

Black Mirror Reflection: Fallout

In a pristine, utopian society, there lives a typical male businessman who works for a startup company. He has business dinners, exercises, works at home, walks around the city, etc. Everything seems irritatingly normal and happy until one night when he is lying in bed trying to remember his childhood and parents.

Black Mirror Reflection: Pest Control

In the future, people live in a world where drones complete everyday household tasks. Albert is a middle-class white male in his early 40s. He has multiple drones in his home that assist with daily chores.

Black Mirror Reflection: iPhone Z

When the iPhone Z comes out, Samantha and Cole are each selected to be the first to own the new phone (along with other similar people around the world, but the episode only follows Sam and Cole).

Black Mirror Reflection: Bracks

Due to a meteor from space crashing into Earth and destroying most of its attributes, the way society functions has been altered to an extreme. The year is 3023, and the world developed a system of classification for humans with the intention to offer a better way of life for them and keep order in society.

Black Mirror Reflection: Social Politics

In the near future, U.S. citizens use a social media app on cellular devices to control the government. The citizens have the power to vote in elections and control policies using the app. However, the immediate control citizens have over government leads to the country’s destruction.

Black Mirror Reflection: Lost in Translation

Why learn a new language when a computer can translate signs, speech and emotions for you? The Voice is a device that mixes natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and machine-learning technology. The Voice was an app that started slowly, then became popular in the travel community because it could instantly translate signs, voices, and much more.

Black Mirror: Face to Face

People live in their own rooms without any other human contact. They have robots who go into the world and do things for them. Kate, who has her own luxurious room and high speed robot, has grown up living in a room by herself, and she loves it. Kate gets her robot to bring her food, run errands, and do virtually any task that must take place outside of her room.

Black Mirror Reflection: Drive Me Crazy

In the year 2050, society is beginning to adapt to life with self-driving cars. Many people are skeptical about whether to trust the cars, but they are left with no choice when a law is passed prohibiting human-driven cars from roadways. As society becomes dependent on self-driving cars, and cars become “smarter,” passengers eventually experience nightmare consequences.

Black Mirror Reflection: Every Breath You Take

Georgie is a gossip and is always talking about those around her. She knows everyone’s secrets, but doesn’t know a private group is recording every word she says through the microphone of her phone. Even when she is not using technology, technology is using her.

Black Mirror Reflection: Justice

Conversations surrounding increasing voter turnout and fighting voter suppression have been swirling since the end of the Civil War. Lately, this conversation has begun again as politicians have proposed ideas like passing voter ID laws and changing the date of election day.

Black Mirror Reflection: The Network

The Network is an online social media platform that lets members instantly watch other members’ lives. A chip is inserted behind the optic nerve, and the neural images are automatically uploaded to The Network for members to view. Once implanted, the only way to turn the stream off is death.

Black Mirror Reflection: Trumble

Rosie is a small town girl who becomes obsessed with her high school’s new virtual world addiction. She is a high school junior who joins a new social media app called Trumble that allows her to anonymously connect with other people in her community.

Black Mirror Reflection: The Perfect Date

In 2060, a group of sorority girls are having a difficult time finding a date for their last formal before they graduate and go off to space school. So they decide to order a hologram date with their touchscreen computers using the website Perfect Date.

Black Mirror Reflection: New Land

On this episode of “Black Mirror,” it’s the 100th year anniversary of human removal from Earth’s terrestrial elements. Human existence is limited to an extensive network of high-tech submarine like tubes that line and extend from the ocean floor to about a mile from the surface.

Black Mirror Reflection: A Beautiful Life

In a future overpopulated world, doctors have developed an affordable medicine that allows people to live longer. People can add years to their lives by taking the medicine. However, this eventually leads to overpopulation and competition for food, jobs, shelter and other resources. One woman trying to make ends meet finds herself in a life-altering situation.

Black Mirror Reflection: Reflection of Society

Jamie lived in a perfect world – a world with no war, no hunger, no imperfections, nothing to worry about. Every morning, she woke at the same time, had the same perfectly cooked breakfast, and put on a perfectly tailored outfit. And before she left to attend an exclusive academy, she looked in a mirror. But it was not an ordinary mirror.

Black Mirror Reflection: To Serve and Protect

In the opening scene, we see a group of high-ranking government officials in a top secret room of an unmarked building in a large, crime-ridden metropolis. As they officially gather around, three men in white lab coats wheel in a large man-sized item covered by a sheet. The sheet is lifted to reveal an android, a robot with an unusually small metal torso and head with large robotic arms and legs much longer and larger than any normal human proportions.

Black Mirror Reflection: Sally

It is difficult to tell humans apart from artificial intelligence robots. Sally is one of many artificial intelligence robots created by the United States government.

Black Mirror Reflection: Medical Advancements

Everything she is hearing from him about the new medicine sounds wonderful. He says it is cutting edge and is the newest pharmaceutical drug on the market. She tells him she wants to get it for her father, but is stunned when he tells her the cost. She knows that this isn’t something his insurance would cover and decides she must find a way to get it for her sick father.

Black Mirror Reflection: Smart Clothes

This episode will star a group of six friends – three guys and three girls, who all buy ‘smart clothing’ to fit in with the rest of society. Smart clothing is new clothing with technology built in that can help monitor your health by knowing your heart rate, blood pressure, how much exercise you do, how much sleep you get, and when you are getting sick.

Black Mirror Reflection: No Fire

In the future, there is a new gun technology. A gun will only fire if a certain person owns it. If a person bought a gun and it was theirs, the technology, through fingerprint or DNA, would only allow the gun to be fired if that person was holding it.

Black Mirror Reflections: Road Trip to Space

The episode follows the Carson Family, a family of five, who is going on a family vacation to space. Paul Carson goes to the local grocery, where he sees an ad that reads “A Free Family Trip to Space.”

Black Mirror Reflection: Face Swap

Two childhood friends, Johanna and Leilani, FaceTime to keep in touch. They attend different schools and lead two very different lives, but despite their differences, they remain very close. On one of their FaceTime calls, something strange happens.

Black Mirror Reflection: Influencers

Many people in today’s world have started to notice how personal the advertisements are that they see when browsing the internet, and many believe the government is spying on us to make this happen.

Black Mirror Reflection: Conspiracy

The episode’s theme would be around modern journalism and the rise of conspiracy sites that have been given more credence in society. In the episode, the investigative department teams with a few industry insiders in the journalism field to track down the owners of a popular news/conspiracy site.

Black Mirror Reflection: Road Rage

It is the year 2085, and driving oneself is overrated. The only mode of transportation is by the use of self-driving cars. The cars are government-owned and operated through the use of a phone app and identification cards, or “ICs.”

Black Mirror Reflection: Interlock

Interlock is the name of a new company undergoing trials for a revolutionary new technology. The invention by the company is a helmet-shaped device that can be worn between two people, and a skill set can be transferred from one person to another.

Black Mirror Reflection: Alexa

In the near future, people begin to rely on the newest model of Alexa for everything. Companies and businesses replace employees with devices like Alexa, eliminating daily personal interactions. For one woman, the new technological advances have resulted in a lonely existence.

Black Mirror Reflection: What a Catch

For my episode of “Black Mirror,” the story would revolve around dating apps because they have become increasingly popular within the last few years. The technology is a new dating app similar to Tinder, but instead of seeing only pictures and links to the date’s social media, you can see a life-size hologram of the person’s profile you are viewing.

Black Mirror Reflection: Scream of Consciousness

In a country much like America, the government has decided they have reached their limit with mass violence and terrorism. Their solution is to implant a chip in every citizen’s mind that uploads their stream of consciousness and thoughts onto a platform like Twitter.

Black Mirror Reflection: Red and Blue

This episode begins in December 2032. Technology has become much more advanced and has changed the social structure of the states. Everyone is required to wear holographic ID bracelets that emit from a chip implanted in their arms. These bracelets monitor people’s vitals, location, and can receive messages and calls, and its colors depend on the wearer’s.

Black Mirror Reflection: Worthy

At first, it would be very difficult to understand why this group of specific people is grouped together in the reality show. What links each season of people together is their desperate need for an organ transplant. An interactive show, the cast competes throughout the season to win the hearts of America’s viewers, and most importantly, the organ they need to continue living.

Black Mirror Reflection: College Admissions

The year is 2040, and the college admissions process in America has drastically changed yet again. Whereas students used to be evaluated on their standardized testing scores, GPA, and assortment of extracurricular activities, hopeful applicants are now evaluated on the way they use their social media.

Black Mirror Reflection: Chameleon

If I were to do a “Black Mirror” episode, I would be about something relevant and still prevalent today, which would be racial tensions and gender. My “Black Mirror” episode would be called “Chameleon,” and it would be about racial tensions and the need for others to conform to survive.

Black Mirror Reflection: Designer Babies

Today is May 4. At this time, exactly two years ago, I was standing under an arbor in a long, white dress looking into the eyes of my now-husband, vowing that we’d be together forever. This anniversary is special, and the anticipation of the pressing conversation that we both know is coming gives me butterflies in my stomach. Finally! I thought. We get to pick out our baby.

Black Mirror Reflection: National Security

Just how much freedom are we willing to risk for our security? In the future, citizens will stand trial for committing “crimes” that are published on social media. They are convicted according to the severity of each crime. Violent acts result in penalties ranging from beatings to lynchings, and drugs and alcohol lead to long term jail time.

Black Mirror Reflection: Timehop

 Every day, the app “Timehop” allows users to see what they posted a year (up to many years) ago on that very day. This allows users to reminisce about what their life was like.  Wouldn’t it be cool if when the app showed you what you did a year/years ago on that day, you could relive it?

Black Mirror Reflection: Analysis and Partner Match Process

In 2070, people are smarter, more technologically advanced, and have learned from history’s mistakes. The episode focuses on a young woman named Heidi, who is approaching age 25. She has been waiting for this day for as long as she can remember. This is because, in Heidi’s world, turning 25 means you go to Headquarters for your “Analysis and Partner Match Process” otherwise known as APMP.

Black Mirror Reflection: Into the Woods

In recent months, a new app came out for camping lovers. This app allows campers to communicate and share their trips with others. The app is called “Camped,” and it allows people to leave reviews about a camping site and give tips and feedback as well as directions. The app makes it easy for the camper to set up the site and get into and out of the woods easily.

Black Mirror Reflection: Facetune

What if we could edit people’s appearances in real life the way we edit them in photos? For example, if someone uses an app to make themselves appear thinner and their friend’s teeth look whiter – what if they could actually fix that as instantly in real life as they can on their devices?

Black Mirror Reflection: American Lottery

In the near future, the desire for power rules the intentions of everyone in this country. Presidential terms in this America last four years, but presidents are not elected by a democracy. Instead, for a short time every four years, advertisements are shown on TV, social media, and billboards selling a “raffle” of sorts that would allow every person, regardless of factors like social status, age, and race, the chance to become president.

Black Mirror Reflection: Masked Men

Facial recognition is a growing technology that could potentially replace many things in modern society. The conversation of facial recognition recently caught fire with Apple’s release of the latest iPhone X.

Black Mirror Reflection: Swipe Left or Right

In the near future, a beautiful girl begins a downward spiral when she receives negative feedback from social media similar to the Tinder app. Everyone walks around with their phones, swiping left or right each time they encounter someone, which affects the person’s dating and friendship ratings.

Black Mirror Reflection: No Contact

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The government has created eye contacts for people around the world that make everyone around you attractive. This means no one knows what people actually look like; they only know what pleases them personally.

Black Mirror Reflection: The Land Down Under

In the year 3000, civilians live under water because it is dangerous to live on land where humans – obsessed with technology and videogaming – drive motorized vehicles as if they were video-game controls. People in these vehicles chase other vehicles to destroy them vying for total control of the world.

Black Mirror Reflection: Wellbeing

Imagine a post-war country in which all of its citizens constantly project happiness in a competition of resources. Ozzy lives in a post-war world where a large portion of the population has been wiped out. Due to war destruction, resources are scarce. After the war, global depression rates rose and global health declined. This created competition regarding the levels of happiness in countries, and nations soon became obsessed with their image and how they are perceived by other nations.

Black Mirror Reflection: Faking It

Anne is the definition of a pretty girl. She is popular, skinny and loved. She has been pretty since she was a kid, but her vanity led to multiple surgeries that made her waist smaller, her nose thinner, gave her fuller lips and bigger breasts. It is no surprise that she is an influencer, and that is what she lives for.

Black Mirror Reflection: Undocumented Citizens

In the future, everyone is documented by the government thanks to advanced technology. In a futuristic maternity ward, doctors place chips behind the ears of many children just below the skin. Max is returned to his mother after the chip injection, and viewers watch Max grow to age 8.

Black Mirror Reflection: Verified

In the near future, superiority is based on social media accounts. If a person is verified on Twitter or Instagram, they have more privileges than people who are not verified. There are Vs and Zeros, and they don’t mix.

Black Mirror Reflection: The Plug

In the near future, when someone “plugs in” to watch TV or a movie, they actually become the main characters within the picture, and experience everything that the main character is experiencing. Whether it’s physical, emotional or psychological pain, they feel it all.

Black Mirror Reflection: Dreamador

In the year of 2030, the Dreamador was invented, which is a brain implant that has to be surgically inserted, and it is a device where people are able to record their dreams when they are asleep and watch them the next day. The Dreamador was invented to increase life expectancy and to force a routine sleep schedule. 

Black Mirror Reflection: Memory Making

The year is 2090, and most of the world’s memories are contained in one single, all-encompassing, free-to-download phone application.People still live these fragments out in real-time: going on vacation, visiting their grandparents, seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, et al. But there are key differences to memory-making in the new technological era, creating a rift between humanity’s ability to recall the past emotionally or in sensory-based waves, and the means by which we store these moments for ages to come.

Black Mirror Reflection: An Apple a Day

In 2035, humans have given up their rights to a familiar corporation, Apple. Over the years, the company has fed the public’s tech addictions, and the entire world has become slave to the company. News of the latest iPhone upgrade permeates all forms of social media and television. Apple runs the world, and the company has all power over the government and its people, making citizens stay updated on their latest products or face consequences.

Black Mirror Reflection: Come Together America

Around 2040, social media and technology have really taken off. There have been several new social media websites invented, and everybody is amazed by social media and technology, even more than they are today.

Black Mirror Reflection: APT

The world is divided. There are the “APT’s” and the “NON’s” all over the world. If you fall into the APT category, you have a genetically modified aptitude to be good at your passion. If you are a NON, what you enjoy doing is different than you genetic aptitude.

Black Mirror Reflection: The Center

Scientists have developed technology that gives them the ability to make people live longer, adding years onto their lives. When this discovery was made, it was groundbreaking and exciting, with everyone wanting to be one of the first individuals to use it.

Black Mirror Reflection: Be Yourself

In the near future, technology has evolved, and people can pay to Photoshop themselves in real life for certain periods of time. When you return home, you can undo your Photoshop. Kim is tired of being perfectly edited.

Black Mirror Reflection: Too Good to be True

A young black woman, Lila, in her mid-20s, just graduated from college. She received an email one day telling her to enter into a drawing in which one lucky winner wins the latest and greatest technological advancement, a car that can drive itself wherever you’d like it to go. No strings attached.

Black Mirror Reflection: Human Contact

What are the effects of isolation due to technological advancement? With technology that allows everything to be delivered to your door, online school becoming more common, and more jobs being worked online at home, if things keep moving forward, people will lose casual human contact.

Black Mirror Reflection: Life is But a Dream

In the near future, a new social media platform with profiles similar to Instagram or Twitter is invented. Everyone’s profile posts footage of a person’s dream. The dreams are live-streamed as you are dreaming them, posted to your profile, and permanently displayed without the option to be deleted.

Black Mirror Reflection: Indefinite Friends

In a future government-controlled community that is a visual utopia, friendship is prized above all else, and community members are assigned indefinite friends that know their whereabouts at all times. Life gets complicated when a government agent assigns Maggie a new indefinite friend.

Black Mirror Reflection: Fair Trial By Jury

I decided that in my episode I would address this by creating a “fair and equal” trial by jury. In this episode, when you are convicted, you do not appear in front of a normal jury of your peers, but of 10 robots, and once your decision is final, a robot judge will come up with your sentence.

Black Mirror Reflection: The Game

Picture this, you live in a world that is run by an application. With every decision you encounter in life, a bubble pops up with the decision you are facing along with four different solutions to the decision.

Black Mirror Reflection: Dis-order

The year is 2065, and the latest home innovation is the newest feature from Amazon XX, which automatically restocks every car and home that is registered with them. From things as simple as toiletries to kitchen appliances, they have it covered, and it is instantly replaced.

Black Mirror Reflection: The Eye

A man who lives in the projects suddenly begins seeing advertisements for a new social media site called “The Eye.” The government is watching its citizens, and no one reads the terms and conditions of the site. Donny hates social media because he believes it is a “societal downfall.”

Black Mirror Reflection: Heaven or Hell

Nicole Kidman would play the main woman and Alexander Skarsgard would play the man. The technology being used is augmented reality to create everyone’s personal heaven and hell. Depending on what kind of person you were while you were alive depends on what kind of augmented reality you end up with for the rest of your life.

Using Black Mirror in the Classroom

Some have called “Black Mirror” a modern day “Twilight Zone,” and like the vintage science fiction series that often envisioned the future, “Black Mirror” brilliantly conveys how media and technology could alarmingly devolve in the near future. That’s why some educators are using it in the classroom.

Frank Bridges, of Rutgers University, has written a piece called Black Mirror as a Pedagogical Tool in the Classroom. He said a show like “Black Mirror” “allows students to experience a taste of the not-so-distant future for 45 minutes and still have time to discuss their ideas in class.”

Bridges cites the episode The Entire History of You in which an implanted device called a “grain” captures and indexes video and audio of everything viewed by the recipient.

“The episode may feel jarring and its ideas inconceivable,” he writes, “but it can be explained to the class that elements are already available with existing technologies such as augmented reality glasses, compact flash memory, retinal implants, and networked home devices.”

Bridges said educators can incorporate other materials, such as media articles, to prepare students before watching the episodes that can prompt them to begin thinking about the future of technology.

In my mass communications class at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media, students first learn about the history of mass media before we begin envisioning the future with the help of “Black Mirror.” Students begin to think about their personal relationship with technology, social media and electronic communication. Some have said it was “eye-opening.”

Emily Glover, of the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education, offers advice about how to teach pop culture and TV shows. She says television shows, news stories, podcasts and other popular media can be used as teaching tools to help students learn digital literacy skills.

Glover said the ethical use of technology is one of the main themes of digital literacy. It’s important for students to understand how media and technology affect them and how they affect media and technology.

“The British anthology series ‘Black Mirror’ (often compared to ‘Twilight Zone’) requires the viewer to reflect and discuss the implications technology has (and will have) on our lives,” Glover writes. “While episodes push high school classroom boundaries, some courses in higher education have jumped on the ‘Black Mirror’ bandwagon.”

Glover said teaching television programs such as “Black Mirror” and “The Twilight Zone,” (which we also looked at this semester in contrast), provide an engaging framework for discussing the appropriate use of technology, media ethics and the future of tech.

In a MediaShift article, Jeremy Littau writes that one of the great things about science fiction is that it can tell us about ourselves. He explains that the original “Star Trek” series used the idea of “humans traveling the galaxy in a starship to tell stories about race, gender, class and moral choices.”

Littau, an assistant professor of journalism and communication at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, has also used “Black Mirror” in his classroom to approach weekly discussions about technology, media and society. Wednesdays are “Black Mirror” days in his class. Students watch the show and Tweet a 140-character review about the episodes. He also shows them other tech-related articles.

Littau is right when he says “Black Mirror” is not for everyone, and I agree it should be handled with care if used in class. Personally, I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing some episodes with students, and I use trigger warnings when setting up the episodes.

Katy E. Pearce, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington, also uses “Black Mirror” in the classroom. In her syllabus, she writes that each episode taps into our unease about technology. “Each episode is a superb platform for ethical debates,” she said.

Pearce notes that students should realize the show is speculative fiction with mature themes. “Episodes are fascinating,” she said, “but also disturbing, as the show features graphic content.”

Some teachers have even posted “Black Mirror” Nosedive worksheets online for grades 9-12. The worksheets include a pre-viewing activity about social media habits, a viewing quiz, and worksheets about themes and complex characters. Students are asked to write a character-based essay.

My students were asked to envision themselves as writers for the show and come up with an idea for a new episode of “Black Mirror.” You can read some of their Black Mirror Reflections here.

Black Mirror Episode Reviews

Students watched several episodes of Black Mirror this semester. Here are a few of their reviews.

‘The Entire History of You’ Makes Us Question How New Tech Developments Could Impact Society

Linh Nguyen “The Entire History of You” brought viewers into a world where most of the population has adopted a device called “the grain,” an implant used to record everything by default. One could rewind any memory they want to access to relive or observe, and it could even be shared with others on a …