Watch this review of The Circle and other booktube / youtube videos here.
Quick plot summary:
Mae Holland begins work at The Circle, a large AppleGoogleFacbook-esque technology company that increasingly encroaches on private lives via custom experiences, social shares, and ubiquitous live feeds.
Mae is frustrating, with her sense of superiority and entitlement and selfishness. And her terrible romantic choices. But in creating her, Dave Eggers got the details right. Her shortcomings are instrumental in making her complicit in the events that come next.
Upon finishing The Circle, I had to talk about it more and speculate on the nature of our online lives.
Don’t worry, I won’t include any spoilers with this book review, but it is difficult! I want to talk about the book in its entirety!
More interesting is the question it raises in real-world applications.
Do we really need to document every moment of our lives on social media for it to be valid? (I ate at Red Lobster – here’s a pic of my half-eaten potato salad!! I love going outside for my annual run to show how health-conscious I am!! My kid pooped in the tub at bathtime again!!) If a tree falls in a forest and no one Facebooks about it, did it happen?
On the flipside, do we need to shun the internets to live a life of purity? Is that he only alternative, going completely off-grid?
Life is grey. Hopefully, we won’t face the extremes talked about in the book. Though I did feel a bit icky while thinking about maintaining my own social media feeds during the course of the book. Maybe it’s not *that* far off course from reality.
The irony of this review isn’t lost on me. I’ll post this video on my YouTube channel, then write about it here on my website, then post links on Twitter, then squeal with delight any time I get a like or heart or comment.
It’s a strange duality, to be leery of technology’s dark potential, but embrace it at the same time.