Another dot in the blogosphere?

It takes two hands to clap

Posted on: June 8, 2019

 
Spoiler alert: In order to make a point, I need to reveal events in episode 2 of the latest season of Black Mirror on Netflix.

The episode is titled Smithereens and features an ex-teacher who kidnaps an underling who works at a social media company of the same name.


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Some viewers of the episode might wonder if real world entities like Facebook have as much reach as Smithereens. These viewers need only find out about data analytics and how Facebook has been used to influence political outcomes.

So it is not surprising to assume that the episode is about blaming social ills on technological affordances. After all the series creator, Charlie Brooker, has showcased this tendency over five seasons in Netflix.

This might be the first episode where the victim, the ex-teacher, blames himself for getting distracted while driving and causing two deaths. The guilt weights heavily and he resorts to kidnapping the Smithereens employee in order to speak directly to its CEO.

It takes two hands to clap: A greedy company to design an engaging app and an ill-disciplined user to use it regardless of context and circumstances. No one has a gun to our heads to make us watch videos while we cross the road.

The social media company holds it hand up waiting for us to complete the clap, but clapping is not appropriate in every circumstance. It does not take much to put our hand down and move the screen away from our eyes for a while.

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