Black Mirror and Your Rhetorical Relationship to Technology
PROMPT 1: Using our class discussions of remix & your understanding of the TV show
Black Mirror—and your understanding of other literature/film about technology—write about your rhetorical relationship to the technology you use on a daily basis.
ELABORATION: Consider this notion of remix: we all absorb massive amounts of content and info from many electronic sources, and then use it to live, to interact with others. In a paper of 1,500-1,600 words, write about some connection you see between the ideas that Black Mirror presents about your relationship totechnology and the ideas of rhetoric and remix we’ve discussed in class. The goal is to use Black Mirror—and whatever other works of art feel relevant to your own
experience—to describe how you interact with technology, and what it means that you interact with it in those ways. Since this is a class largely about rhetoric, you should consider your relationship with your gadgets in a rhetoricalsense. For example, in terms of rhetoric, you might consider the sort of personality traits that technology brings out in characters on the show, and how that relates to the kind of personality traits that your technology brings out in you(this would constitute a discussion of the kinds of ethos connected to technology use). Or, you might consider the emotional responses that characters on the show have to the technology that surrounds them, and how that relates to the many and complex kinds of emotional responses you have to your technology (this would constitute a discussion of the kinds of pathos connected to technology use). Or, you might consider what sorts of claims the show puts forth about our use of technology, and how those claims relate to how you use technology (this would constitute a discussion of logos connected to technology use). Or you could go another route altogether. These are all just possible directions to take, not absolute requirements.
Note that I’m NOT asking you to make larger, societal claims about use of technology. Rather, you should write about your own relationship to your own technology. This isn’t to say that the paper should be entirely personal—there’s definitely a place for alluding to the show and to what’s been written about technology. Still, I’m NOT looking for you to make grand claims about what our use of technology means for everyone. For more context, imagine that your writing could appear as a personal essay in a magazine like Wired (we’ll look at examples of this kind of writing in class, but here’s one, entitled “Why I Can’t Stop Watching Horrifying ISIS Decapitation Videos”).
LOGISTICS: Write in 12-point, Times New Roman font. Double-space. Use 1-inch margins. If you cite sources, do so in MLA format. . Provide a title that speaks to the essay’s purpose. Include no title page, but a header on the first page that gives your name and “Black Mirror Unit.”