Social media and technology have fundamentally altered the way we do business, couple and break up, develop friendships, and construct our identities and our notions of aspiration and fame. Read more...
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Social media and technology have fundamentally altered the way we do business, couple and break up, develop friendships, and construct our identities and our notions of aspiration and fame. We make decisions about where we'll go based on whether it's Instagrammable. We don't have friends, we have followers. For an entire generation, an experience not captured on social media might as well not have happened at all.
As someone whose identity has been forged by reality TV (as a contestant on "America's Next Top Model") and social media and mobile technology, Kim Stolz is deeply obsessed with the subject. She has a hard time putting her phone down. And yet she remembers what life was like before technology-induced ADD, before life had become a string of late-night texts, Snapchats, endless selfies, that sinking feeling you get when you realize you've hit reply all by mistake. It's hard to imagine now, but there was once a time before we wasted a full hour emptily clicking through a semi-stranger's vacation pictures on Facebook, a time before every ex, every meaningless fling was a mere click away.
"Unfriending My Ex (And Other Things I'll Never Do)" is the first book to document the hilarity of the social media revolution from the inside; it" "chronicles a life filtered through our obsessive relationship with technology. The book is as eye-opening as it is entertaining as it proceeds through the various ways in which social media and mobile technology have generated empathy deficits and left us all with the attention spans of fruit flies...and the sad fact that in spite all of this, we find it impossible to switch our devices off.
Smart, hilarious, and completely relatable, "Unfriending My Ex (And Other Things I'll Never Do) "captures our crazy moment, shining a bright light on the trials and tribulations of life online.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-03-24
- Reviewer: Staff
In this brief but lively memoir, Stolz, a digitally obsessed former MTV host and news correspondent in 2008, decides to give up technology for one week. Attempting to live with “less interruption and more deliberateness,” she forgoes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Internet, texting, and reality TV, and her iPhone (she allows herself a landline). In a “fugue state” at first, Stolz soon begins reading Walden, likening her one-week technology fast to Thoreau’s lengthier seclusion. As she deals with her technology withdrawal, she investigates and considers the various effects of society’s (and particularly her generation’s) dependency upon technology, finding that texting and smartphones allow chatting without relationship-building, loneliness in spite of keeping in touch, and increased anxiety. She also finds that Facebook fosters jealousy, spying, and virtual affairs, and links the addiction to ADHD (she even unearths an expert who predicts that no one will be spared some sort of “iDisorder”). Though Stolz writes with humor, her insights are nevertheless disturbing, particularly for 18–30-year-olds who check their smartphones before getting out of bed (and sometimes during sex). Her brief conclusion outlines some commonsense ways to change (e.g., put down the phone during dinner; meet face-to face) but readers are left with the haunting certainty that there is no turning back. (June)