If the Dead Reincarnated as Online Personas

Throughout the entirety of Black Mirror’s “Be Right Back” episode, I was immediately transported into the horrid situation of a loved one leaving my presence.  As much as I would want this loved one back, it would never be the same, even if it was through artificial intelligence or the replication of their social media platforms.  While a woman and her husband are happily married with a kid on the way, the husband spends too much time on social media during a drive, having technology literally being the reason he is killed.  However, as the woman is talking with more and more people, friends introduce her to this new concept where the dead can be replicated through taking text messages, emails, social media platforms, etc. to try and mimic the emotions and communication methods this loved one exhibited.  The funny part is, technology was the reason the husband died, but was simultaneously the only reason he lived again.

By analyzing this situation, it was interesting to observe how social media can be our institution of survival as well as death. Even if social media were able to revive one’s online self into the physical self, who’s to say this person is the same or different while they were living?  As much time as people spend on social media, I personally argue that the social media presence in all of us will never live up to who were are as a person, our emotional styles, and our communication styles.  However, since watching this episode, I have thought much more in depth about if I were to die today, how people would really remember me, and could my social media accurately replicate who I was/what type of a person I was.  Even furthering this thinking, how I would personally remember my close friends, and if their social medias accurately replicated their online persona in real life.  The image of weeks 1-6 on the Death in the Digital Age blog accurately pictures anyone briefly idolizing technology, whether or not they’re missing it or loving it.

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