This Book Will Scare You Off Social Media

Dave Eggers' novel The Circle describes Facebook-like firm: Michele Filgate
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2013 12:22 PM CDT
Updated Oct 12, 2013 12:29 PM CDT
This Book Will Scare You Off Social Media
Dave Eggers' upcoming novel.   (

Most of us are familiar with the pervasive need to check, and recheck, Facebook and Twitter—but it's not always easy to take a step back and realize how dependent we've become. For Michele Filgate, that moment of perspective came when she read Dave Eggers' upcoming book, The Circle. It tells the story of Mae, who takes a job at a firm that's "clearly based on a combination of Google and Facebook and Twitter," Filgate writes at Salon. At first, the job seems perfect, but eventually, the company's anti-privacy stance starts to look sinister.

The company in the book, The Circle, is "making people obsessed with being connected to the world all the time, no matter the cost," Filgate notes. Alongside Louis CK's comments about the need for screen-free time, the book made Filgate "more and more uncomfortable with just how dependent I was." Her solution: Quit social media for a week. At first, disconnection was unpleasant, but eventually, Filgate warmed to the lessened "pressure to post." Now, she's back on the grid, but she's limiting her involvement: "I don’t want to become like Mae, sacrificing real-life friendships for the allure of the screen. I want to be aware of the world around me." Click for her full column. (More Dave Eggers stories.)

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