By Shannon Miscoll
Episode four of the Black Mirror series revolves around the main character, Rosie. This is about a small town girl who falls into an obsession with her high school’s new addiction with a virtual world.
Rosie is a young high school junior who joins a new social media app that allows her to anonymously connect with other people in her community. This app is called Trumble.
Trumble is popular among the students only in Rosie’s high school, leaving the adults of the community in the dark about the new developed virtual world. The fun part about the app is that you are interacting with people you already know, without knowing who they actually are. You can virtually chat with other avatars, build your own apartment, go to school, even go grocery shopping.
Everybody in Rosie’s school is constantly on this app. The episode climaxes when Rosie begins to virtually interact with a young male avatar on a romantic level. The two pair up by joining private chat rooms, going on virtual dinner dates, even getting a virtual dog together.
When things start to virtually get serious with Rosie’s Trumble boyfriend, Troy, Rosie begins to take up unhealthy hermit behaviors in the real world. She does not leave her room. Rosie skips school, forgets to shower and eat. Rosie is decaying while her avatar is fulfilling of the needs of her real self.
Rosie’s parents find that she is ill and instantly place her in their town’s local hospital where the doctors can monitor her. Rosie, despite being hooked up to wires, continues to play online in her Trumble world.
Rosie does not mention that she is ill in any of her chat rooms because, psychologically, she does not believe her real world self exists anymore. Over the months that Rosie is hospitalized, things with her Trumble boyfriend, Troy, begin to get serious, and they become married. All of her Trumble friends attend the wedding and even help celebrate their first child together.
Rosie has started a wonderful life through the app. Throughout the episode, we see her take trips with her “family” and make memories she’ll never forget. At the end of the episode, Rosie suddenly becomes too weak to continue playing on the Trumble app.
She calls out for her husband Troy, but she sees a man that she can’t recognize, her father. Fear has over taken her body. Rosie does not recognize where she is, or who is surrounding her.
In the end, Rosie passes away at the age of 18 from malnutrition. With her life shortly lived, all of the memories she made, and the life she had within the Trumble app, will never be known to anyone except Rosie. All of the friends she made and the family she started will all press the refresh button and continue playing as if she had never existed.
The moral of the story is to emphasize how addicting technology can become, and that people will some day not be able to step away from it and live life in the real world.