Uniform-ity

Technology, in many ways, is making us the same. “Nosedive”, a Black Mirror episode, illustrates this fact to us in subtle ways. In this futuristic show, people dress in only pleasant colors, which seem to always be some variation of pastel. As seen in the picture below, where Lacie is in the airport, everything is designed to pleasing to the eye. There are no harsh colors or anything that may be controversial. It seems everyone is trying their hardest to satisfy everyone but themselves, which is best done by acting normal and wearing common clothing, with non-committal colors. The pastels are effective in contributing to this strategy because they are lighter and duller than the normal color. This makes sense in the world that is described in “Nosedive”, because you are rated by everyone you have interactions with online and in person.

“The Pleasure Machine” points out how this conformity to a norm or socially acceptable aspect of life shows up in other places. The author describes the fifty or so people who are playing Candy Crush on his international flight, which is not surprising in itself, but the scene would be compelling. The author observes the uniformity of everyone playing the same game and identical screens, yet they are not interacting with each other. Another example in this article comes during the part about how Facebook can group people to together based off interests, political opinion, and many other ways. The expression “sort of person” can be applied to decide whether or not to post a picture or comment anything. This type of thinking automatically puts the person in the mindset of being in a group, and therefore lacking in terms of individuality. As we continue worry about pleasing others and adapting a “tribal membership” mindset, we become just a cog in a machine that can predicted and at times controlled by technology.

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