Posted: May 24th, 2022
The prominence of digital media characterizes today’s world. Social media have become more popular than traditional media channels. They have the power to reach a broad audience instantly. However, social media can also use them to spread wrong information and polarize people.
Websites and blogs are now more important than television and newspapers. Social media have also become a powerful source of information in our digital age. They have given us access to the worlds best minds and most innovative minds.
The question of what it means to be human has fascinated thinkers and philosophers throughout history. One of the earliest forms of this was in the Western World. The Age of Enlightenment was when people started asking questions about their existence. This scenario was also when scientists and thinkers began to question the nature of man and his place in the universe. Thomas Burke started his questioning in his essay ‘The Philosophy of Man’. Burke’s definition focused on man’s ability to think and reason. He also questioned the idea that God had created man for his benefit. His ideologies vividly present themselves in Charlie Booker’s film and one episode, in particular, called Fifteen Million Merits; a Black mirror, to be precise.
Generally speaking, the production of many films is aimed to bend people to think in a certain way, mainly in the direction of reassurance. Charles looks to produce a movie that would actively unsettle people, which misses in most productions. Charles Booker describes a Black mirror as a box of dark chocolates; you never know what you will get from one episode to the next, but you know it will be about dark chocolate. The ‘Techno-dystopia’ is a ‘worried’ show that it worries about today even though it sets its argument on situations soon or sort of allegorical futures. It is a drama-filled show stretching across human crime dramas and relationships. The world of fifteen million merits is a future dystopian that presents a brutal reflection of our daily lives in a capitalist system. The typical average person gets up every morning, does the regular morning routines, works his whole time in repetitive jobs, later goes home, plays video games, and does it all over again the following day. Screens surround everyone, and the outside world is inexistent in this film because people live in a world of graphics revolving around computers. Most people in this episode pedal bikes, essentially their ‘work’ and as pay, they rack up merits. For people to loosen up a little, they may choose to engage in one of the eight daily streams ranging from programming to fat-shaming to porn shows, and they have to pay for watching and skip ads, similar to today’s world. There is also the existence of definite classes existent in this world. The majority of the people peddle bikes and are dressed in grey shirts, cardigans and jogging bottoms, symbolizing a sense of a contemporary homogenous middle class. They work hard, earn their merits and live on, hoping for brighter days just like in today’s world. The lower classes comprise overweight individuals who clean up the middle class, which explains the reason for existent fat-shaming shows like the now-expired Jeremy Kyle, where the privileged exploit the minority for entertainment (Radovanovi, 2018). The episode ideally talks about the Black mirror being black screens of our switched off tablets, phones, computers and televisions and how they reflect our images before we switch them on, acting as mirrors. Fifteen Million Merits describe how our traditional digital media has contributed to human perceptions and the outcomes that have emerged from this embrace, both critiqued and concerning today’s world.
Definition of man is a critique by Burke describing the nature of man and the surrounding that he puts himself in. Burke describes the nature of man as an animal in the use of the symbol. He describes a situation that he observes outside his office of a nest full of birds. The birds fly daily except for one particular chick, which stays in the nest every time they pass out. One day, this bird comes and lures it out of the nest, hence debriding it. In this context, Burke says that humans misuse the very symbols we make in that they are not for the benefit of humans. He says we humans use characters to deceive, disturb, anger and angst and hatred and violence and war, and so he said that it is us misusing symbols and making it that they do not benefit humanity. This critique is crucial when relating it to fifteen million meters as characters in that film use the technology they have for purposes other than the benefit of fellow human beings. In this episode, we see that there is barely an outside world because people are surrounded by computers and almost everything is generated from machines and people live in a world of graphics. To break up the monotony of their daily programmed life, people loosen up to different daily streams like fat-shaming the overweight low-class in the society, porn, Television reality shows, and entitled Hot Shots (McKenna, 2019). Human beings in this film can arguably be said to be exploitative as they fat-shame the marginalized in their society. This topic can be argued using Burke’s ideology of humans using the symbols they make for exploitation and harm to humanity is existent in this episode as it is even in today’s contemporary society. The thought of this applies in today’s world, and a proof of this is the expired Jeremy Kyle show which focused on exploiting the less privileged by the majority in the society.
During the 90s and 00s, online media took off. This case was when the Internet became a popular way to communicate. Social media are platforms that social media can use to share content. They can be either web-based or app-based. Social media can be virtual networks that people can join to communicate, or they can become a source of news or information. The ability to communicate quickly and easily through social media means that people can share news or information more easily. In this particular show, we see the inventions of technology that have been in motion in this world. Computers surround them, and their world is graphically based. This case is evident even in our everyday society, where the changes in media have been consistently growing to what we know today as standard technology.
Burke, in his work, also describes humans as inventors of the negative. He says human thinking is focused on the non-existent, the thing that is not there. Burke says that the negative moralizes human beings; so many of our moral codes and systems what we believe we should and should not do is based on what we want ‘not to be what we want to avoid. Burke also says that the Decalogue or the Ten Commandments portrays the very thing you should not do, and even when it tells you what to do, it is my roundabout way of saying what you should not do. He further continues to argue that people are moralized by the negative. In this case scenario, the people in episode Fifteen Million Metris are moralized by their daily negatives of technology. The life of individuals in the middle class surrounds work and artificial intelligence programmes which act to entertain them. In line with this, we observe the psychological indulgence in the programmes which formulate the day to day lives of individuals in that particular world.
Burke also describes man as; he is “separated from his natural condition by instruments of his own making”. In this film, it is easy to notice that the scenery is indoors as individuals are busy with computers, artificial intelligence, and cycling machinery where the middle class earns their points. We can observe that there is no outside world in this episode, and this is because they are surrounded by a world of graphical representation which has separated them from their natural conditions.
To understand how ideas and opinions are spread on social media, we must first look at the power of ideas and bias. The power of ideas can be defined as the ability of an idea to attract people toward it. Bias is an inclination toward a particular view or opinion. Therefore, bias can be described as a preference for one thought over another. People often talk about these two ideas when they discuss how ideas are spread online. They also use the example of Twitter to explain how opinions are spread. In the age of social media and apps like Twitter, users are constantly connected to the digital world (Launer, 2013). It’s no wonder that the themes of social media and apps like Twitter are prevalent throughout the series Black Mirror. Twitter user engagement has risen to an all-time high, with users able to share and discuss media at the click of a button. And while some see this as a positive development, others see it as a negative influence on society.
We reference the negative influence of Twitter on society relating it to the Black Mirror’s Fifteen Million Merits. The use of media by the people in the middle class is offensive and immoral since it entails topics which either promote inequality or distort individual morals in the content being shared by artificial intelligence. Today, Twitter wrongly encourages cyberbullying and inequality among marginalized groups in society. Inappropriate use of social media platforms also advocates for people forming the basis of their character and, most importantly, morals through the messages being passed around and the content promoted by groups of individuals on the platforms.
Bing, the protagonist in this particular episode, has Fifteen Million Merits which he earns as points from his job of cycling, so he is well of as an individual in the middle class. He thinks of nothing of skipping adverts and paying for whatever stream, food items, or how many pumps of toothpaste he fancies. Bing is attracted to Abi from the moment he sees her in the elevator and his attraction grows when he unearthed that she had a great voice for singing. Bing compliments Abi’s voice as he is moved by her rendition of an old song ‘Anyone Who Knows What Love Is.’ for him his experience with Abi is one of the few real moments he has had in months. He suggests that Abi join Hot Shots but she laughs of the idea. She says that she does not want to chase the dream and expose herself of potential disappointments. She supports her statement by saying she needed twelve million merits to buy a ticket that will let you try the show. Her statement brings a very crucial idea of the support and credit talent is given even in todays society. Talents are supported only for people with privileges. In the early noughties, British television was dominated by Simon Cowell and his reality Television Shows. From Otts theorem, we can observe that the show grew over the years and went global, with international versions of them popping up all over the globe with the help of social media and other media platforms like television broadcasting. Contestants and judges entertained the lives of ordinary individuals in the search for fame. Ordinary people dreamed of being plucked from their lives because they had a good voice or some other such talent.
After giving it much, Bing comes to a spontaneous decision to offer Abi the twelve million merits she needs to try out for Hot Shots. She is surprised by how much he has accrued and initially refuses the offer, but through persistence, she agrees. Bing substantially says he does not want to buy himself stuff or even dress up his avatar. He understands that these things are only material and her singing is the only real thing he knows and he would rather spend his merits on giving her a chance to achieve the dream. The masses in fifteen million merits have also subscribed to this dream as illustrated by the number of contestants Bing and Abi encounter as they wait for her to be auditioned by the Hot Shot’s judges. The crew who manage the background do not care about the contestants and are just churning through them as cannon fodder for the programme. This again reflects the workings of how reality Television operates in our own world. People and their stories are exploited for entertainment purposes, and once an episode or series is over, the shows move on to the next batch of people without giving the previous group a second thought. This follows arguments of exploitation presented by Burke in the ‘Definition of Man’. In fifteen million narratives they ask Abi what her talent is and when she says singing, they ask her if she wants to be as big as Selma someday ignoring her possible individual desires. Before her performance, Abi is asked to drink something called cuppliance obviously a take on the word compliance. This compliance is a nod to the real-life forms and agreements contestants have to sign before going on Television Shows. Once on the stage, the lead judge Hope who is obviously mean and a parody of Simon Cowell, Judge Charity, his female sidekick and finally Judge Wraith, something of a renegade. Judge Wraith demands to see her chest and this shakes her up because until that time Hot Shots was only a talent show. We later learn that this particular judge wished to broadcast Abi on his porn stream, Wrath Babes which has been existent throughout the episode. She is eventually given the chance to sing and seems to win over the judges and the audience. But thats an illusion which is brutally ripped away when the judges let her know that the market is saturated with singers and her best bet is to join Wraiths streaming channel. Abi is reluctant but she is pressurized by the judges and the audience. Judge Hope rebukes her uncertainty, saying shes thumbing her nose at the people who are at home, who pay their dues every day so she can be on that stage. This gives us a hint as to what the people on the bikes are doing they are powering the spotlights, generating electricity, in a post-apocalyptic world. The judges tell her that its either Wraith Babes or returning to the bikes and in their opinion there is nothing worse than the bikes.
The audience chants for her to take the opportunity and Abi is backed into agreeing. Here we see an impending influence on Abi and this ideology is supported by Foss and Griffins Invitational Rhetoric She is persuaded and pressurized by a dominant audience to do something she did not think before (Jarvis, 2021). A combination of factors seems to be at play when it comes to Abis capitulation. Her own judgement that any type of fame is better than an ordinary life, the effect of the appliance drink she drank and the forcefulness and manipulation employed by the judges and the avatar audience. The way Hot Shots backs Abi into making a choice she is unsure of mimics the way Simon Cowells own reality TV shows force contestants to make decisions they are uncertain of. A prime example is when he convinces members of bands to split and either go solo or join new bands. Contestants are forced, on stage, to wave goodbye to years of friendship in favour of merely the chance of fame. The sacrifice is always deemed worth it.
Launer, J. (2013). The age of Twitter. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 89(1057), 675-676. https://doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2013-132400
Radovanovi, B. (2018). Reality on the Screen: The Subject of the Dystopian Future/Present. Thoughts on episode Fifteen Million Merits of Black Mirror. AM Journal Of Art And Media Studies, (17), 103. https://doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i17.275
McKenna, T. (2019). Behind the Black Mirror: The Limits of Orwellian Dystopia. Critique, 47(2), 365-376. https://doi.org/10.1080/03017605.2019.1601887
Jarvis, C. (2021). Invitational Rhetoric in Epistemic Practice. Rhetoric Of Health &Amp; Medicine, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.5744/rhm.2021.1002
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!
Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.