Mirror Mirror: Love & Hate Uncovers Our Toxic Relationship With Social Media

Photographed by Meg O'Donnell.
Digital natives and concerned parents alike know that social media can become a seriously addictive problem. It's almost become an eye-roll issue, where it feels easier to deal (or more accurately, not deal) with our phone dependency with humour and nonchalance.
But lurking beneath our high screen times and our unconscious doom scrolls are the very real fears that our digital use is affecting our brain chemistry, our body image and the fabric of democracy as we know it.
Thanks to whistleblowers and telling documentaries like The Social Dilemma, we have become privy to the inner workings of social media. And now, a new two-part Australian documentary aims to lift the lid on exactly how harmful the internet and social media can be. 
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What Is Mirror Mirror: Love & Hate About?

Mirror Mirror: Love & Hate is Todd Sampson’s latest investigative documentary. The two-parter seeks to interrogate just how dangerous social media and the internet are for all Australians. 
“The average Aussie will spend 17 years of their lifetime staring at their phone,” the trailer begins, adding that this number is growing. Shortly after, a shocking revelation is dropped — that for the first time ever, our IQs are actually dropping.
Mirror Mirror: Love & Hate explores how the internet is changing us, what we can do about it and what the dangers are if we do nothing about it. 
"We are being slowly downgraded as a species,” the trailer ends on a sinister note. 
Image courtesy of Channel 10
The doco will also look into cyber-safety, how the internet impacts young children and what parents need to know about the dangers of the internet.
In episode 1 focused on the theme of love, Sampson zooms in on various topics such as OnlyFans, social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, virtual relationships, influencers and chatting online. Two interviewees include former Big Brother contestant Tilly who went viral after tattooing freckles onto her face, and another person Avalon who offers mermaid fantasies.
Episode 2 shifts to the theme of hate, and "is all about the solutions and the practical things we can do as parents and the fight we need to have for regulation" says Sampson.
“In Episode Two, we cover QAnon conspiracy theories. There’s an incredible young man in Melbourne who fell straight into the hole of QAnon and his father is still in the hole," Sampson tells TV Tonight.
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"We talk about how conspiracy theories, COVID theories, grip people’s attention and hold them and how these social media companies amplify it. We cover catfishing, which is a sad story. There’s a young boy who was (a victim of) image-based abuse as a 12-year-old. It also goes to a woman who lost her daughter in cyber bullying. It’s a very heartfelt story."

Who Is The Host Of Mirror Mirror: Love & Hate?

Todd Sampson created and wrote the two-part series, and will feature as the lead presenter and host. The Canadian-born Australian documentary-maker and television presenter previously created Mirror Mirror, a tell-all documentary that uncovers the ugly side of Australia's beauty industry.
"While watching the first instalment of the two-part series, I quickly realised that no one, including myself, is immune to the influence of advertising, social media and the unrealistic beauty ideals they prescribe," Refinery29 Australia's Culture Editor Alicia Vrajlal previously wrote.
If Sampson's first Mirror Mirror documentary was anything to go by, Mirror Mirror: Love & Hate will be explosive and confronting.

When Does Mirror Mirror: Love & Hate Air?

Mirror Mirror: Love & Hate, a Baltimore Films production for Network 10, will premiere on Monday, October 10 at 7:30pm and will continue on Tuesday, October 11 at 7.30pm on Channel 10 and 10 Play.
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