Dating Life is a Black Mirror


So yeah…..i managed to finally fell in love with Black Mirror. This Netflix series have made me jumped in joyful dance of weirdness. The stories are so twisted and unbelievable surprising that it makes me infatuated to the core.

When i stumbled to the episode “Hang The DJ”, i felt so deeply in love with the series for its portrayal of current’s dating scene in the modern world, where technology rules basically every aspect of the dating life.

This specific episode started with two characters, holding a mobile device they called “dating coach”, meeting each other for the first time. Weird but memorable. Think that was the conclusion of Amy and Frank meeting. The ‘tinder’-like apps apparently sets a time limit of their so-called-relationship. 12 hours that is. And they squeezed months and months of relationship in 12 hours. Spending a night in a dream house, confused on deciding whether they need to “get it going” or not. And ended up just sharing bed in the most intimate scene. I said intimate, guys….cause nothing more intimate that spending a silent moment with someone you feel comfortable with.

When the hours are over, reality kicks in. The separation left a big hole on both characters. But it’s not long that the “dating coach” uses the data algorithm from their latest relationship to create new relationship which actually makes their “hole” even more bigger. Frank needs to stay in a new relationship from a year, 365 days that is. And he started that with coming late to the first date, the girl is annoying and bossy, bad sex, no communication, etc. Amy needs to stay in a 9 months relationship. Great sex, annoying behavior from the guy, no intimacy and communications. And the remaining 3 months after that one, she filled it with more “failed relationship” with random expiry dates. Until at one time, Frank and Amy are both single again and the “dating coach” matches them once more. The moment they met, they knew. Second time is the charm. And they just surrender their fate in the “system”, without asking “expiry date”.

After that 30 minutes of wondering if Frank and Amy are meant to be together or not, i started thinking. Does relationship really have an expire dates? Does it need an expire date? Are we bound to meet those person who got away in the first place, after wandering around in so many failed relationship? Or are we attracting more and more failed relationship after we did had that “one who got away”? Is “tinder”-like apps really only going to hook us up with more and more failed matches? So many questions.

The last few scenes of the episodes was even more interesting. You know that sometime when a relationship becomes so good, it eventually makes you feel insecure in so many things? Then you started to questions many things. Like wanting to know when will this good thing will end, as if you can do anything about it or preparing your heart from breaking in small pieces and try to have it less small. So yeah….that was what Frank have in mind. As tempting as their relationship is, Frank can’t help but wondering their “expiry date”. And he checked, obviously. And the “dating coach” apps becomes error and calibrating every 30 seconds, changing the first expiry date from 5 years to 48 hours. WTF!!

Leaving with premature heartbreaks, Frank becomes distant for he don’t know how to tell Amy this. And when he did tell her, all hell breaks loose. Equally heartbroken, they are forced to keep obeying the “system” and get out of the relationship when the 48 hours is over.

Then the ultimate match come. The one the “system” said to have 99.8% compatibility. Now speaking on compatibility, there are many dating apps or online dating out there that measure the match with percentage of sharing interest. They said the higher it is, the bigger the chance for relationship to grow and even last. A friend, a frequent user for these apps, told me that at least to meet up, you will need 60% or higher compatibility to at least have a civilized conversation. So yeah….99.8%?? Seems to good to be true. But in this dystopian world that Black Mirror tells is a world that works on the logic of machine and systems, with data and algorithms. So maybe….maybe there is that almost perfect someone, eventually for every one.

As a closure, before meeting the “perfect match”, Frank and Amy was given a chance to meet one las time with “the one who got away”. Apparently they chose each other. Meeting again makes them realized that they should be together. They rebelled the system, which then shows us a scene that they are actually in a simulation which collect data to create that 99.8% perfect match. Then the screens fades to come back again to two people standing away from each other in a crowded bar, smiling at one another, holding that “tinder-like” apps that saying 99.8% match.

So now….i think that life with this technology age is truly a black mirror. You pose in front of it and see nothing but black. Yes….dating life has been exactly like in this episode. We are forced to try out many dating apps in order to meet people due to the lack of time to socialize in real life mode. Then this dating apps will eventually matches us on the most prolific way, with so many people which we can choose to meet with. Then more and more failed relationship while those who feels like the one are not seems clear enough and made us run away from it, until it does clear somehow. I know….i’m psycho-babbling it.

Based on my “tinder-like” experience, it is exactly like this. However i haven’t found the chance to stumble on my “frank” one more time. And definitely haven’t ever been matched with the ultimate 99.8%. Ah…dating life. We thought that technology will make it simpler and easier, but no.

So yeah….if i know who the DJ is…i would definitely hang him/her!! For making this relationship so complicated.