How does ‘Black Mirror’ represent contemporary aspects of surveillance and the dystopian outcomes it can produce?

  • Jessica Hodgson


Nosedive is one of the many episodes of “Black Mirror” (2016) that is most notable for depicting a twilight zone to look into the near future; it also explores the dystopian outcomes in a world of new technologies of surveillance, control and social stratification. The episode portrays a woman who lives in a society arranged by technologies where, through mobile devices and iris recognition, every citizen is rated on a scale of one-to-five according to their social interactions they encounter in their everyday life. Visible to others, an average score is generated through an accumulation of the ratings, and this determines an individual’s socio-economic position. As for the lead character, she illustrates that self-censorship also comes with unavoidable control from the outcome of her social positioning from her score, such as where she can live or who she can have relations with.