In the first episode of the third series of Black Mirror, we get to follow the main character, Lacie, as she navigates life in a world where literally every interaction you have can be rated out of five stars through a mobile app. Chat with a neighbour in your front yard? You could be rated for that. Have a disagreement with someone at work? You will almost definitely be rated poorly for that. Mistreat or cheat someone? You wouldn’t want to see the rating that would get you – and that’s the premise of the entire episode. Everyone alters the way they behave at all times, knowing any interaction they have could affect their overall rating – and their life.
Lacie has a rating of 4.2, which she is content with until she learns there are advantages to having a rating of 4.5+. The rest of the episode shows the things she’s willing to do in order to boost her number, and how quickly she unravels when one argument has a negative impact on it. Against better judgment, she obsesses, lets her emotions take control of her actions and makes even bigger mistakes that do even further damage. The episode is appropriately titled Nosedive. And of all the episodes of Black Mirror I have seen, Nosedive is the closest to a reality we already live in today, which is life on social media.