We are Beginning to Experience the ‘Nosedive’ Rating System in Our Culture


Catherine Randall

“Nosedive” begins in a near future society where everyone is given a score out of 5. The higher your score, the more access you have to restaurants, functions, and activities. The way to change your rating is by being nice and exchanging ratings with people you meet.

Bryce Dallas Howard stars in this brilliant depiction of the negative effects of social media. It is not uncommon for people to obsess over social media today. People have entire careers based on their Instagram accounts. Some influencers pull in six figures a year from sponsored content.

Is a ratings society where we are headed? Many of us attribute our success to jobs and education, and failure in one or both can be devastating. In modern times, with coronavirus keeping everyone at home and on social media 24/7, it is easy to get into this cycle, and it is bad for your mental health.

The constant impact social media has will eventually destroy us all, which is the social criticism provided in “Black Mirror.” Lacie is a representation of all of us and our pursuits of success, even when we are already successful. She seeks approval on social media regardless of how happy it makes her.

People will do anything to gain fame or “clout” as seen recently with the rising popularity of the social media app Tik-Tok. Many people do silly and sometimes dangerous things on the app to become famous. Tik Tok stars have begun making more money than traditional Instagram influencers, and the world is struggling to keep up.

A society in which we base our place in society and our self worth on a “rating” is upon us, especially in larger cities. Some clubs in New York City ask you to show your Instagram following before being admitted. There are certain murals in L.A that require you to be verified on Twitter before you can view them and take photos in front of them.

In the People magazine article Private’ Mural Only Allows Influencers to Pose with It, Mackenzie Schmidt writes that the mural creator, who was angry about the backlash it received, said is was disappointing to see a few verified influencers getting upset about the mural. “There is no reason to be mad,” he said. “We created it specifically for you. Instead of the negativity, come down and take a great photo!”

The kind of social media presented in “Black Mirror” is frightening because it is already a reality in some parts of our country. The creator of “Black Mirror” is aware of this.

In the NPR article Black Mirror’ Creator Dramatizes Our Worst Nightmares About Technology,” “Black Mirror” creator Charlie Brooker said, “I was exposed to TV quite a lot at an early age. And I remember I – you know, I grew up watching the BBC, like everyone in Britain, and, you know, slightly, slightly eerie children’s programs we had and terrifying public information films. When I was a young – when I was 14 years old, the BBC broadcast a show called ‘Threads’ that was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen, which was a drama about nuclear war.” Brooker wanted to comment on the world around him in a creative way without being too literal.

“Nosedive” has a lasting impact. With growing importance placed on how well we are doing on social media and in our daily lives, we can already see the detrimental effects of relying on social media for entertainment and self worth. It would be naive to think this would change, but many are giving up social media all together.

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