Would You Record Every Second of Your Life?

534972_526153590738053_1336732784_nBlack Mirror is fantastic.

A friend recently turned me on to this short-run BBC drama about some of the dark twists technology can have in our near-future world. There are 6 episodes available on Netflix.

The most thought-provoking episode for me is one called “The Entire History of You.” In it, pretty much everyone in the world has an optional implant behind their ear called a “grain” that taps into their sensory system to record video and audio footage of everything that person sees, does, and hears.

The episode shows how often characters use their grains–they’re very much part of their everyday life. The grains can project footage on the inside of your eyelids or on any nearby screen you choose. People use them to replay conversations, security footage, reminiscing about past lovers or even fond memories of current lovers, and much more.

The grains appear to have excellent search capabilities. You can quickly and easily sort through memories about a specific person, timeframe, or location.

I’ll say it: Despite the dark points the episode takes about how this technology might lead to troubles like living in the past, overanalyzing the simplest of gestures, and feelings of jealousy, I would love if these grains became a reality.

I think the benefits would far outweigh the downsides. Instead of pulling up our cell phones at every special moment to take a photo, we would just use our grains. They could be used to protect your innocence for a crime you didn’t commit. I would use them for board game playtesting and replaying special moments in sports or travel. And so much more!

What do you think? Would you want the ability to record and replay every second of your life?

2 thoughts on “Would You Record Every Second of Your Life?”

  1. Black Mirror is both fantastic and disturbing. I binge watched all of them a few months ago and still think about a few of the episodes quite a bit. Is the Christmas special (with Jon Hamm) on Netflix yet? It wasn’t when I watched them, but I found it online and watched it that way.

    I think the grain sounds like a great idea in theory and it would definitely have many useful applications like the ones you mentioned. However, I also think it would make our already disconnected society even worse than it already is. Smartphones already make it hard enough to have meaningful interactions with people when they’re always looking down at a text or Facebook. Can you imagine how immersed we would be in a technology that would let us relive any moment at any time? I also think that although it would be great to be able to replay fun and exciting moments in your life, it would also take away from how special they are if you overdid it. Kind of like how you might love a song the first several times you hear it, but after repeating it over and over, you’re tired of it. I’d hate to “wear out” certain memories and have them lose what made them so memorable to me to begin with. Obviously you can control what you want to view, but the temptation would be there.

    It’s definitely interesting in a relationship aspect as well, and I like some of the ways this was explored in the episode (although a lot of them were really sad, like how the couple were both thinking about other people when they were in bed together). However, I think it would be nice if you’re ever pining for an ex and trying to remember why you broke up though–just rewind and watch all of your fights again! 🙂

    • Katie: Unfortunately I don’t think the Christmas special is on Netflix, but I’m really curious about it!

      That’s a really great point about wearing out memories. Also, with the video, you don’t have the benefit of making memories seem better than they really were.

      Just one clarification: When the couple is in bed with one another, I think they’re watching memories of each other in their more passionate days, which I thought was a neat twist. I’m sure they’ve also used footage of other lovers too, but I think in that particular scene they were looking at past versions of themselves. That’s disturbing and also kind of neat–like, when you’re 70 and want to roll around in bed with a younger woman, you could physically be with your 70-year-old wife but watch footage of you with her when she was a spry 29 year old.


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