Y’all. Watch Black Mirror if you want to celebrate Halloween and get a mean reality check on your social media use. So so mean.
Black Mirror is a smart Netflix show set in the future that examines human nature paired with high tech. The first episode of the 3rd season was particularly eerie. The premise: you can rate all of your interactions with others, similar to how you rate your Uber drivers. In this society, you can see people’s rankings on a scale of 1 -5 . If you’re 4.5, you’re considered an elite, but if you’re below a 3, you’re basically ostracized.
The story follows a girl rated 4.2 that yearns to be a 4.5 or above. She tries everything she can to get people to upvote her, but her interactions come off as desperate and ingenuine. The episode ends in a twist where the girl decides to not care about what people think about her. Unfortunately, that leaves her to be a social pariah.
What’s crazy is this isn’t too far from our current reality- where we’re all obsessed with numbers, followers, likes. Not to mention look at what China is possibly proposing for 2020. <—What the hell!
The plot was relatable because so many of us fight for approval and affection in this day and age. We are scared to say things that people don’t want to hear. Or could offend them. On the flip side. we crave authenticity, but when do we know we’re being perhaps too honest? It’s hard to find a healthy medium.
Staying authentic online is just a part of it.
I know I oscillate between not giving a shit to giving all the shits. (Don’t we all though?) When I first started The Snobby Foodie, it was my little spot on the Internet where I could say whatever I wanted about the venues I visited. The food I ate. The activities I partook in. When people started more actively visiting my secret little corner of the internet, I started worrying about what people would think. Would they think I was too harsh or too judgmental? I tend to like to tell it how it is. No skirting around, you know? (ENTJ baby)
I was all the sudden overthinking my delivery and… it got to me. So… I did a 180 and started posting things that I thought OTHER people would like: recipes, curated photos, and hashtags galore. And guess what happened? These things felt so far from what I really wanted to do and say that it ended up making me so unhappy that I stopped writing for a while.
It took a few months to realize why I wrote in the first place: to have a creative outlet that allows me to learn things outside of the 8-5 work day. My writing didn’t have anything to do with other people at all. Since that whole experience of tweaking who I was as a writer to fit what I thought was the mold to success, I try to remind myself why I’m doing things: because I actually want to.
This doesn’t just apply to writing, but to work, goals, and interactions.
The “public approval rating” episode of Black Mirror was a harsh reminder to be authentic and genuine… and how easy it is to steer from that. It’s something that we can all remind ourselves to be aware of from time to time. You seriously MUST watch it. Just that episode. So good.
Doing something for yourself is more fulfilling than doing it for the ‘likes’. You’ll end up being unhappy if you do something just for other people. Do it for yourself. Do it to make you happy. Don’t give in the the number bull crap.
Forget the approval. Ya don’t need it!!
You be you…. and go watch Black Mirror. It’s crazy insane.