Even if you don’t know the plot of Bandersnatch, or you think it’s not that deep, the episode’s popularity does bring up an important question: Is this type of interactivity the future of media? That conclusion is a rather large jump, but I think Bandersnatch is actually the culmination of a larger trend in how we consume content.
Most people get their news from Twitter or some other social media platform. The last time I went directly to a source to read the news was when I accidentally read an article while wrapping something with newspaper. Our content is curated for us, through the people we follow, through intelligent algorithms that know way too much about us. I once searched for a movie with Troye Sivan called Spud and was advertised potatoes for two months. Social media allows us to create an individualized experience, and with so much content out there, we need some sort of filter to make it manageable and tailored for us. No two timelines are alike.
If every other aspect of media consumption is individualized, why aren’t our TV shows? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could save your favourite character from Game of Thrones (at least for a few more episodes)? Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could make the Big Bang Theory a good show?
Esquire has a really interesting article about community watching and the recent fragmentation of how we watch, read, or listen to things. The article talks about how the sheer number of shows means that people can watch what fits with their worldview, preventing them from discovering new viewpoints. Following trends from every other platform, I don’t think Bandersnatch is going to be a one off, and we’ll definitely see more things like this in the future. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing though.
Do you think Bandersnatch is the future of media?