This Black Mirror episode follows the main character, Lacie around in a world where people are completely engrossed in their mobile devices and rate every person they see based on their interaction with them on a 5 point scale. In turn each person has their own average ranking that can be seen by everyone. These ratings impact every aspect of their lives such as houses they can buy, planes they can get on, certain lines for things, special clubs etc. It is how everyone judges and analyzes the worth of a person. The problem with these ratings is that they are mostly fake. People in the episode try overly hard to be nice to everyone and do what they think will get them the most ratings, such as posting pictures of certain things they think people will like or doing favors for people, or telling people things they think they want to hear. In this sense it completely limits freedom of speech and our ability to say what is on our minds and not be constantly held to an impossible standard of perfection in the eyes of society.
Lacie is completely obsessed with upping her score and is elated when she is chosen by her childhood friend (ranked very highly) to be her maid of honor at a fancy wedding. Lacie sees this as her ticket to the top. Along her journey however Lacie encounters some mishaps which leave her extremely frustrated and she ends up losing more than half her rating. She ends up needing to hitch a ride with a trucker who to Lacie’s absolute shock, has a rating below 2.0. The trucker tells her how she was also obsessed with her rating once upon a time but after her high rating didn’t help her ailing husband get treatment, she realized it was all for nothing and the rating scale was stupid and suppressive. At the end Lacie makes it the wedding (even after being uninvited by the bride for having such a low ranking) but has a psychotic break giving her speech and is escorted away.
I found this episode hitting very close to home and eerily similar to a direction we could be heading in with our obsessed with social media and social validation. You can draw clear comparisons to the episode (while it is overdramatized) to social media gurus such as influencers who have millions of followers and make money because they are well liked and followed. I think this could definately lead to Lacie’s ending where the pressure to be perfect in society and well liked brings her a breaking point.