Black Mirror Reflection: Influencers

By Leah Jackson

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.

It begins with a young girl, about 16, scrolling on an application similar to Instagram. She is a troubled girl with a drug problem, and has started to dabble in dealing drugs.

When scrolling she comes across an ad for an application to send and receive messages that can never be traced. She immediately downloads it so she can message different people about drugs without worrying about the messages ever getting in the wrong hands.

Then an old man is shown trying to buy fishing equipment online, and an ad for a trial medication comes up to help hair growth. The old man is clearly not familiar with technology, but clicks on it and orders the medication because he has started balding.

Neither the girl nor the man have ever searched about a way to communicate without being traced, or hair growth pills, so both assume it’s coincidence. Throughout the episode, it is shown that the young girl becomes a huge drug dealer and is sentenced to jail time. The old man eventually dies in his sleep of what his family believes is old age, but his death is really caused by the pills.

The last five minutes of the episode are of a very futuristic white room with people staring at computers. The audience learns that each one of the people is assigned a human to listen to and track their every move.

The person assigned to the young girl was instructed to get her sent to juvenile detention, because the detention center in her town was losing federal funding. The person assigned to the man was instructed to advertise pills to him because he was a match for a government official that needed an organ donated.

This episode shows how easily the government can control our lives through social media, and how easily they can be watching us while we have no clue. Today, we have ads because of what we search, but in the future, ads could be based on what we see and what we say.

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