Mass media entertainment is an ever-growing industry. Name it, as mundane as people going about their daily routines, in front of cameras for a reality show to the extraordinary feats that people have achieved in their lives, anything and everything under the sun, and beyond is now made available to us 24/7, with just a click of a button.
These shows have become an integral part of our day to day lives. People end up discussing their favourite shows during social gatherings with relatives, friends, and colleagues. Cult-like behavior is observed among people watching the same shows. We swear by the characters that we adore and at times are willing to bet and fight with our best pals over these fictional characters. Such is the impact of these stories.
Of late its pretty common to find family members watching their favourite shows, in the privacy of their rooms, barely spending time with each other. I must confess, that at times the situation is no different in our home, especially during Sundays, although I pray it would be otherwise.
Believe it or not, throughout the week I make a mental note of all my pending art projects, books that I have long since bought, but never touched, and the gourmet dishes I promised to cook for my son. But I seem to be drawn towards the laptop like a moth to the flame, for the sole purpose of watching these interestingly addictive shows. Please don’t judge me on this. I am not that bad a mother I assure you guys. I spend ample quality time with my teenager, as much as any other parent.
In fact, we spend a lot of time together chatting about his friends, studies, and trending sneakers, listening to each other’s playlist, watching YouTube videos of best basketball shots. Well, this is my way of getting to know my child’s world.
Anyways just recently I started watching this show called “Black mirror”, anthology series created by Charlie Brooker. Despite being warned by my best buddy, about the show being dark, curiosity got the better of me. This show depicts the dark side of technology and how it can twist and manipulate human behavior and alter their life. Trust me these freakishly realistic stories gave me the “Goosebumps”. In my opinion, these are modern day horrors which we are already witnessing, in some form or other.
Some of the futuristic technologies depicted in the stories like, recording one’s memories (which can be played back or erased at one’s will – a boon for Alzheimer’s patient) in a grain-sized memory chip installed in one’s body and to recreate an individual (a human-like robot) using their digital foot print, post their death to help their family cope with the loss, is something that appealed to me. Interestingly most stories portrayed the negative side of the human psyche, but I think technology is here to do more good than bad.
By the way, the technology depicted in yesteryear science fiction series, “Giant Robot”, an English dubbed Japanese television series, which I fondly remember watching, seemed very kind, helpful and promising for humans. Today robots are used to accomplish innumerable tasks, which are humanly not possible. Remember Star Trek, the legendary Sci-Fi series which has millions of fans all around the world. That space adventure story was optimistic and without any doubt considered an augur (a predictor) of human life in the 21st century. Many of those futuristic gadgets that were depicted on the show have become today’s reality. For example cellular phones, portable memory or pen-drives, Google glasses, GPS, Tablets, Bluetooth headsets and voice interface computers(Siri) and much more. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry probably did not imagine the impact his creation would have on its viewers.
Well, such scintillating stories will be written as long as there are things to wonder about, and in time the technologies which were someone’s figment of imagination will find fruition in the hands of a believer.
-Aruna C. – Head R & D, BRAINSTARS