Black Mirror Reflection: Toxic

By Alex Mudd

The time period is 2004. Britney Spears’ “Toxic” is playing on every radio. Life is good. Olivia Peters just graduated from the university with straight As, a great group of friends, and she is ready to move back home to Los Angeles to start her next chapter.

For her graduation present from her parents, she received the new Blackberry smart phone. Fast forward to a week later, Olivia wakes up in her parents’ house to start her first job out of the university. She is working for a marketing firm that markets all the big time Hollywood movies.

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.

No idea what is happening, she rides the bus and walks into her office to find a completely different version of people and places including technology Olivia cannot fathom.

Women with big lips and small waists talk on iPhones with Airpods and surround the office like robots, because this is 2019 L.A. Everyone has had plastic surgery and has Airpods.

She walks into her boss’ office to report for her first day, stunned and confused, but going along with it because no one else seems phased. Olivia’s first job is to target influencers in marketing their brand and movies.

Olivia doesn’t know what an influencer is, but dives deep into the web of social media to understand why she has woken up in 2019 and what the future is like. Olivia uses her tools to research society’s biggest influencers: Kim Kardashian, Hailey Baldwin, Kylie Jenner, and notices everyone around her is trying to look like them.

Olivia stands out like a sore thumb with a normal body type and no plastic surgery, just wearing normal jeans and a T-shirt. She figures out quickly that the future is just a combination of artificialness and a huge audience of people trying to obtain that artificialness with no authenticity and everyone worships influencers.

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