If I were into building shrines I’d probably build one of Charlie Brooker. I truly believe that this man is the Southern Mother Shipton of our time. He’s been predicting the future for a few series of Black Mirror, and while we watched aghast as the Prime Minister shagged a pig, we never really thought it would happen. But it could.
I could imagine Donald Trump finding himself embroiled in a scandal of this calibre, while David Cameron’s own relationship with our porky chums seems to reflect the hue that’s devoid of colour. With every episode taking snippets of real life and fast tracking them into a dystopian future I have absolutely no idea why we’re not all bowing down to Charlie Brooker.
Maybe he does have a secret pass that allows him to foresight into our futures, or maybe, just maybe, he’s actually retelling the present, with a little embellishment, and instead of us looking at this series, worried about our place in technology in the year 2050, we’re actually viewing our lives as they stand currently.
The new terms and conditions of Facebook that basically take your soul, pulverise it into data and spit it out with burnt branding on your torso that screams, “I love Macdonalds.”
The like farming, the media control, the virtual reality, the synths, are all part of our human populace if only we dare to look. I’ve written many articles this year on the predictions for 2017, and with each one, I’ve felt like I’m writing Black Mirror’s new episode.
For example, the new terms and conditions of Facebook that basically take your soul, pulverise it into data and spit it out with burnt branding on your torso that screams, “I love Macdonalds.”
The location tracking that’s been operating in the background for half a decade, that now puts a stop to even the most intelligent of cheaters as Google and Facebook track every single move. Even if you don’t admit to liking a Happy Meal from a drive through, Facebook knows you’ve been there, and they know what exactly what you gobbled.
The sex synths that are coming this year that are a little warmer, the human models that have pressure points so they can respond to your touch. The developments in the world of sex toys [Explicit material on page link – thought is advised] is absolutely staggering and there’s a market for these humanoids, a billion dollar one. It won’t be long before we ask ourselves, is the rape of a toy ethical? Can synths really think? If we act out our fantasies on a doll are we really deprived human beings?
Natural is a word that doesn’t hold much power anymore, as nothing is really natural, the future is synthetic, it’s tech, it’s more.
Then we have the like farming that’s linked deep to our psyche. Many of us can’t operate until we’ve seen that morning emoji smile or laugh. With employers trolling our social profiles, insurers will not be far behind, and any, or all words will be used against us, or at least used to sell us more tat.
If we act out our fantasies on a doll are we really deprived human beings?
There’s the ridiculousness that is the American presidency where a celebrity made it to the top. A man incapable of rational thought won the leadership due to his ability to manipulate a crowd. A twitter happy man is now crowned the king of a country, as he has the knack for tapping into the worst of human psychology to bring about motivation and drive against the differing classes.
Just how much further will it go as we isolate ourselves while pretending to be social. Already our teens have angst when conversing face to face as they struggle with human interaction, with manners, with grace. While role play infiltrates the reality of our lives, will we really ever know anyone, will we know the kind neighbour from the town paedophile?
2017 will see us shopping through a virtual world where we pick items off shelves and add them to a basket in our living room. Our cars will become bat mobiles, better than human shields as we embrace all the drive through features and use them to minimise interaction with supermarket shelves.
We’ll use gadgets like the Amazon Echo, while becoming Echo’s of ourselves and we’ll turn to friends and ask, “what’s the traffic like?” while sniggering over our modern mistake. We’ll view relationships as commodities as we wonder what partners can do, that synths can’t, without moaning, or griping, or hanging on to those basic human rules, how dare they fight back?
Our cars will become bat mobiles, better than human shields as we embrace all the drive through features and use them to minimise interaction with supermarket shelves.
We’ll find the world a bit easier where everything shouts, “have a nice day”, we’ll see disagreements as inconveniences, abuse we don’t have to take. All the while we’ll become even more disgruntled with fellow humans, why are they whining, why are they doing this, we’ll judge, we’ll scorn, we’ll witch hunt.
Nothing will seem as perfect as curling up with a hot chocolate and Alexa to listen to bedtime stories with a synth that panders to our best interests. We’ll continue to crave idealism, and filter out anything negative, until we’re all happy smiling beings incapable of dealing with human prerogatives. Why would we seek such a dull meaningless life, it’s safe of course, free from strife. It’s on our terms and poses no risk, it’s easy, it’s simple, it’s no way to exist.
It marks us as a number not a name, a commodity not a human being. It turns us into valuable tools for marketing, where our own value is our conversion per impression, our social media influence. It’s all change.
It’s happening now if you dare to look, and it’s coming on Jan 30th with Facebook. Listen to Charlie Brooker, watch the entirety of Black Mirror and prepare yourself for a life with technology that’s marketed as better.