Black Mirror Reflection: Mesmerizing Advertising

By Logan Williamson

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.

We see a glimpse into a neuro-hacking future with social media. If I’m shopping for a pair of shoes on Amazon, then log onto my Facebook account, there will be ads about Birkenstocks on my feed. There’s a strange relationship and correlation already between all my web history and frequented sites.

The internet keeps tabs on us and stays intellectually watchful of our clicks and searches. Neuro-hacking would take this a step further. What if scientists found a way, through our computer screens or other devices, to conduct a hypnosis session and mass manipulate millions of people, invading our thoughts, networks and brain chemistries, and influencing them to like certain things, be interested in certain things, invest time and money into certain things.

This will lead to everyone looking like those Nuketown mannequins, like we’ve all become these empty vessels that just have information dumped into us by big industry or commerce. We will become enslaved to the lucrative ways of big business and profit-seeking financiers.

It almost becomes an Illuminati, as this secret, nefarious organization that controls the population of people through our phone or computer screens, tells us what to think and how to feel through outlets like social media.

Neuro-hacking can be dangerous. I think the episode should portray a people that all have the same personalities, traits and behaviors, like a Stepford Wives phenomenon. One character is, however, not put under this spell, and he/she tries to find her way in a world that is deluded or deceived by neuro-hacking.

He/She is frantically looking for someone who did not undergo this same procedure, and feels completely alone. Everything seems like a hyper-exaggeration of normality (sort of like The Truman Show), and the world seems like a twisted, dark, satirical version of the real world, and people loiter through the day with no sense of purpose or well-being.

Social media can also have this effect, turning us all into zombies who can’t have real compassion, empathy, or understanding with one another. We’re all getting sucked into this digital world and have lost touch with humanity and the tangible world around us.

The central character seeks to find a niche or his spiritual path among these people and wrestles with his own mortality and appreciation of life.

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