In “Black Mirror: Nosedive”, the show manufactures a world where social media is so pervasive that people’s account scores become part of their identities. In this alternate reality, individuals are beholden to impress others and raise their social capital so that they can access opportunities and receive preferred services. However, they’re also constantly evaluating each other, providing the feedback that the algorithm needs to issue scores in real-time.
Over the course of the episode, the protagonist, Lacie, struggles to achieve the 4.5 rating she needs to move into an experimental high-tech community nearby. With the end of her lease coming up, she plans to deliver an extraordinary speech in front of the highly-rated individuals who will be in attendance at the wedding of one of her childhood friends. Unfortunately, one snafu leads to another, and Lacie’s plan to raise her score falls flat, but a chance encounter with an outcast trucker gives her the outside perspective that she needs to see beyond her social media score.
The dystopian universe showcased in this episode takes some of the scariest effects of modern social media to their logical conclusions and displays just how damaging they can actually be. I can’t imagine that this situation could ever arise, but there are obvious parallels to the rise of influencers and others who live a life of fame and luxury as a result of their social media followings.