What if your popularity on social media determined your social standing in real life?

Imagine a world where the likes, retweets, and shares you get on social media actually determined your social standing in the real world. That’s the premise of the first episode of Netflix’s new season of Black Mirror, and you ought to spend an hour watching it (Season 3, Episode 1).

Here’s creator Charlie Booker’s description of his television series:

“If technology is a drug — and it does feel like a drug — then what, precisely, are the side effects? This area — between delight and discomfort — is where Black Mirror, my new drama series, is set. The ‘black mirror’ of the title is the one you’ll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone.” 

Obviously our popularity on social media doesn’t determine our status in reality, but we tend to act like it does.

Here’s the scary thing  — “acting like,” and “reality” are not so far apart.

[As a series, Black Mirror is frightening and sometimes gruesome, but this particular episode is very reasonable.]

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