So I’ve finally watched the infamous episode that everyone is talking about from the new season of Black Mirror- “Hang the DJ.”
The episode that evaluated the way that technology and “the system” has changed the way that love happens in the modern world. The episode that finally takes on the abundance of dating apps and the way that we find love in our modern and tech obsessed lives.
On a basic and non-spoiler level- the story follows Frank and Amy, two participants in a blind dating experiment. Each person is paired up with someone at the start of the night- and then given an expiry date for their relationship- be it 12 hours to 5 years.
Frank and Amy have undeniable attraction but are given only 12 hours, before being put through a series of awful relationships and hook ups after each other.
The app promises them that ultimately- they will be paired up with “the one”, making all the awful interactions tolerable.
Every meaningless night coming and going- with Amy describing it as “being out of her own body” when she’s having sex with someone she knows will never see her again.
One of the most interesting parts of this storyline was the fact that participants in the system know the expiration date of their relationship straight from the offset.
Our two leading roles are given 12 hours on their first meeting and what follows is the realisation that even though they have this brilliant chemistry- the algorithm has terminated anything that might have been. It gives a glaring look at the way that we can put our faith in the technology to tell us who’s right for us, rather than going with the real gut instinct.
The episode also aims to unearth that horrible unnerving feeling that a lot of people have when it comes to modern dating in society. Although you can’t see the time you have with someone- it perfectly demonstrates the modern phobias and insecurity that people feel when they put themselves into the algorithm of loving someone. You don’t need to get attached if you know that it’s never meant to be- right?
I personally met my future husband through online dating. I put my faith in the algorithm and although it wasn’t matched based on any similarities (aside from being in a certain age range and radius) I’m a huge advocate of online dating and the power of technology to match you up with your perfect someone.
But I won’t lie- this episode brought out some interesting views on the way that we view love in the modern world.
I’m not sure if I was single if perhaps I’d have viewed this episode differently – but I feel like Charlie Brooker did a brilliant job at making you squirm in your seat at the potential that technology has to change the way that relationships happen, the way that people have become disposable- based purely on their attractiveness, convenience and ultimately, what people will really do to find love, to stave off loneliness.