Be the one watching


Do you ever feel like we’re trapped inside the pages of a wild fantasy novel, a waking nightmare, or a ‘Black Mirror’ episode?

‘Black Mirror’

It’s a prophetic voice from the media/entertainment world. Too close to home for comfort.
Offering up disturbing images and ideas of a bizarre future, disturbing precisely because they are bizarrely close to reality.

In many ways, ‘Black Mirror’ follows in the time-honoured footsteps of science fiction literature: imagining a future with all its repercussions for the present. (George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and C.S. Lewis’s ‘That Hideous Strength’ should be required reading for all sentient beings.)

I hesitate to call myself a ‘Black Mirror’ addict, as that might imply enjoyment. But I am impressed with the imagination and the warning. Binge viewing may be a temptation for anything else on Netflix, but not with ‘Black Mirror’. Personally, I dose viewing to a SINGLE episode WHEN I have the stamina; 2 episodes end to end: NOT a good idea.

And I wonder if the writers read news headlines, thinking, “Shucks! We’re too late with that storyline, it’s already happening!”

Capturing life

One example of a ‘Black Mirror’-episode-seemingly-come-to-life is our current tendency to view reality through a screen. We’re so busy capturing life, there’s no time to watch it.

Think of the scenes last Saturday of the newlyweds Meghan and Harry riding in their open coach through Windsor. Through a forest of phones. Thousands upon thousands of phones, cameras, tablets.

I would love to ask the royal couple who they actually had eye contact with. Mostly with the very young and very old? Did nearly everybody else have their eyes glued on their screens?

I would love to ask folks from that crowd if they thought about putting down their handheld devices to simply watch Meghan and Harry passing by. Or is there a fear of missing the moment: it has to be recorded in order to be relived and relived again.

But was it ever lived in the first place?

Is the irony, the tragedy, that we have already missed the moment in our efforts to capture it?

Be the one watching

And are we approaching a ‘Black Mirror’ point in society where we’re so accustomed to viewing life through our screens that we start to feel naked and vulnerable without them?

That we start to fear actual eye contact?

Have we even passed that point?

Dare we see screenless?

Let’s not miss the moment passing by.



Photo: How about screenless viewing?


2 thoughts on “Be the one watching

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