“Likes” and the 1-5 System

“No take another one, I don’t like how I look in that one!” I tell my sister.

“I think this one is good!” she says to me.

To be honest, I never post the first attempt at taking a good picture of myself, and I’m sure ya’ll can relate. I remember when I first got 100 “likes” and I thought to myself  finally I got the “likes” that my sisters usually get. In a sense, I felt like I belonged or was liked by society. I do not mean to say that if you get twenty “likes” that you are not liked, but I get this from the “likes” celebrities usually get. I do believe it’s not something I should place so much value to and it is not healthy in the sense that they are just “likes”. I could not help but to see how “likes” are kind of like the system seen in a more futuristic world from the TV series  Black Mirror, except that their system is a number rating from a 1-5.

The rating system goes as follows, a 1 is considered the lowest and 5 is considered the highest. People rate each other on the spot, for example if you see a friend at the coffee shop you would use your phone and rate them. You would rate them based on what you liked about them (i.e. their clothes, friendliness, what they are eating…). The rating system also shows how well off you are in life. If you have a really good rating then you must be wealthy and live a good life.

The episode, “Nosedive”, from Black Mirror presents the life of Lacie Pound who has a 4.2 rating. Lacie becomes obsessed with the rating system and soon finds out that she has to have a 4.5 rating to live at an upper-class estate. She decides to be a bridesmaid for her childhood best friend, because her “friend” has a really good rating system. If she also delivers a good speech on her wedding her ratings will go up.  However, on her road trip she goes through difficulties and her rating goes down causing her to end up in jail. Her ratings were not the reason why she ended up in jail, it was her actions. 

The ratings in“Nosedive” were so openly expressed and one could see the ratings of others if they wanted to. With our social media, I feel like we do this more privately  and often see that selfies or good times get more “likes”. These systems blur what is real since we tend to judge based on how we feel about what the person is showing us.

When Lacie ends up in jail, there is this guy who has a conversation with her and they end up telling each other how they truly feel about one another. This scene really stood out to me because they were both able to let go of any true feelings they really had since they no longer had the ranking system. I think is scary to think that one has to act a certain way in this futuristic world to fit into society. 

What is the reality we are portraying that is based on ratings, likes, and followers? I feel like we need to critically think about how and why we use social media.

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