Black Mirror: Nosedive
Black Mirror is a British science-fiction show created in 2011. Each independent episode explores the effects of new technologies on human communication and behaviors, and raises questions about the meaning of being a human. For this final exam, you will use the episode Nosedive to think critically about the effect of technology on humans.
1. Watch Nosedive, ep.1 Season3 (2016). This episode explores what happens to human beings when one’s status in society is solely determined by a rating system.
2. After watching, please answer three questions plus the introduction: two questions from the first three proposed, and question 4. Select concepts from the chapter mentioned in parenthesis; you can also refer to other chapters in the textbook.
3. For each question, please give specific examples from the story to illustrate your points. Include comments on the use of colors, architecture, music, and locations in this episode.
Questions and Answers Format
• 3 to 4 pages
• Font 12 – double space – 1” margins
• Answer each question separately and bold each concept from the textbook
In a few lines, explain how this episode asks the viewers to think critically about the effects of technologies on human behaviors and on what it means to be a human. Explain your choice of questions to the reader.
1 A society based on ratings (chapters 3 and 13)
How does the system of ratings affect identity construction and relational communication? What is the relationship between the ratings, and social isolation and popularity? Examine Lacy’s relationship with her brother, and Naomi. What new identity is Lacy creating and to what purpose?
In your experience, how has social media influenced your sense of identity and your relationships with others, or others’ sense of identity and relationship with you? If you do not use social media, explain your choice and the consequences, if any, of that choice. After taking this class, do you plan on changing any of your online/social media behaviors? Please explain why or why not.
2 The power of verbal and nonverbal communication (chapters 3,4,5,6,7)
How does the rating system govern the way people communicate verbally and nonverbally with one another? What are the requirements for social success in this particular environment? Compare Lacy’s use of language and nonverbal communication during her conversations with her brother with the woman in the elevator, and with Naomi. To what extent does Lucy engage in successful interactions with others?
In what ways have you adapted your own verbal and nonverbal communication to specific environments? How have the rules that guide the communication in these different environments influenced your communication behaviors? If this is your first semester in college, think about the ways you have adapted, or not, to the college environment. If you work, examine the rules that govern your workplace and explain how you have adapted your verbal and nonverbal communication, or not, to these norms.
3 The race toward popularity (All chapters)
To improve her rating, Lacy must gain popularity. How ethical is her use of communication especially in the content
of the speech she is preparing for her friend’s wedding- not the one she delivers?
In your own experience, name a moment where you had to act a certain way to obtain something you wanted. Based on
the consequences of your action and what you have learned this semester, how would you now act if placed in the same
4 The message in this episode (All chapters)
In the textbook, Duck and McMahan state: “Communication is Everyday Life will help you better understand — and even improve– your life through better understanding of communication” (2018, 3). Lacy’s story shows the possible negative effects of technology on relational communication.
What have you learned about communication this semester that can help you create and maintain healthy relationships with family, friends, and colleagues? To what extent have your communication behaviors- including your use of technology- changed, or not, as a result of studying communication?
Black Mirror: Nosedive