Why Black Mirror Made Me Rethink Online Dating

If you haven’t had the chance to watch “Hang The DJ” from “Black Mirror,” I suggest that you do. Also, it’s in December of 2017, so it’s been a while. People are set up on dates by a device that matches them with another person, and they can check the “expiration date” of their relationship so they know how long they’ll be together. It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it?

I know that this episode is over a year old, but I feel the need to add this: this article will contain spoilers. If you haven’t watched this episode yet – watch it on Netflix – and then resume reading.

In the episode, the two characters that we’re following end up together again. The first time they had their date, they checked the expiration and it was only for the night. The guy decides to check their “expiration date” without the girl checking at the same time. It originally had years, but then kept calibrating until it was a matter of hours – because he was dishonest and decided to check the date without her.

They ended up breaking up, and then we get to a very interesting scene. She’s about to meet her forever person but has the option to choose one person from her breakups before she gets to this forever person. Who would she choose other than our main man? They sit in the booth where they’ve met at twice, once they see one another again, they realize that they don’t give a crud about who this device says is their forever person. They rebel and run away together.

This takes the viewer to a scene where they see almost 1,000 other versions of themselves. 998 of these versions have rebelled and ended up together. Yeah, they’ve rebelled so many times and always chose one another after almost 1,000 times. Then it drops us into a brand new scenario where they’re looking at this speed dating advice, and then look up at one another again…and smile.

This brought a whole new idea of speed dating to the table. My thoughts on speed dating have always been a bit mixed. I’ve thought that it sounds like it could be fun, but also a little annoying. In speed dating, you tend to have a great time with someone. You find yourself having an intense, wonderful conversation and then…oh. There’s the bell. That’s cool, I guess. Next person in line? So I write down this person’s name just because I didn’t want this conversation to end? Okay…

This episode, more or less, has made me wonder what the point of speed dating actually is. To be honest, it sounds rather annoying – but what if that was it? You were having a great conversation, and then the third person sits down and is actually the one for you? Or you were actually supposed to be with great conversation dude, but the speed dating Gods (sarcasm, ladies and gents!) decided that you were supposed to be with someone else, but you can never get rid of the thought of the original person. Then what?

Speed dating, in general, is an interesting concept. I love this episode and how they rebelled, that their love prevailed – they literally climbed a wall going nowhere just to be together. It’s more romantic than most things you’ll see.

Overall, maybe this means that you should give speed dating a chance? It seems a little silly, a little annoying, but in the end, what if during the speed dating dance you find your forever person? Hey, it could happen.

Featured Image via Netflix’s Black Mirror


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