Terrified of Twitter? Frightened of Facebook? You will be after watching the new series of Charlie Brooker's cult TV series 'Black Mirror'.
The disturbing and darkly funny show is back with six new sinister episodes. They're streaming on Netflix (seasons one and two aired on Channel 4), and are destined to have you eyeing your phone with suspicion. Because, once again, the target of Brooker's inscrutable gaze falls on technology – the way we've let it infiltrate our lives and its powerful potential to undo us. And again, it makes for uncomfortable viewing.
In 'Nosedive', A woman becomes obsessed with an app that gives everyone a constantly fluctuating numerical score, like an Uber rating for popularity.
'Shut Up and Dance' sees a teenager discover just how how far he'll go to keep his online activity a secret from his friends and family in a 'grim and nasty' tale.
In one episode, expressing anger online has awful real-life consequences. 'Hated in the Nation', a feature-length special set in London, sees a London detective investigate a string of mysterious deaths with a sinister link to social media.
Each of these punchy new episodes, set in the tantalisingly near future, is unsettling, soul-shaking stuff. But the aim isn't to teach us a lesson.
'I'm actually quite positive about social media,' says Brooker, at a press screening for the new series. 'Generally I think it's an amazing invention that we just haven't worked out how to use properly, that we haven't come to terms with yet as an animal.'
'A lot of [people on social media] believe they are making the world a better place. They are speaking out against an injustice. Somebody has done something they perceive as wrong and they feel that by complaining they are kind of making the world a better place. The issue is the number of people involved is psychologically horrifying for the person on the receiving end.'
In 'Black Mirror' there are no moral messages, he insists: 'We don't tend to think of ourselves as a message show. Partly because I'm an idiot and I don't have any answers. If there's any sort of message at all I think it's sympathy, empathy. But we are generally not offering solutions.'
Although, like 'Black Mirror' episodes have done in the past, this new series is sure to have you looking for answers. We'll be questioning whether technology is really helping or hindering us, pausing next time we go to unleash our rage in the comments section, thinking twice before we rush to Instagram a snap of a #perfectweekend.
'We want people to enjoy these so we try not to moralise,' says producer Annabel Jones. 'I think that would strip out a lot of the entertainment.'
Entertainment, overwhelming sense of doom – same thing, eh?
'Black Mirror' season three is available to stream on Netflix from October 21.Share the story