By Dave Edders
This is an interesting and (hopefully) cautionary tale about the dangers our society faces with the continued voluntary eroding of personal privacy, the collection of data by corporations (mainly social media), and the issues with defacto monopoly of social media empires. The Circle is a fictitious Google/Facebook/Twitter/Instgram/… rolled into one. Huge corporate campus, everyone has an account, and everyone wants to work there. The story follows one woman, Mae, who finally lands a job there. It details her struggles to be accepted and all the strange behaviors of her co-workers who live and breathe in a connected world where it’s all about sharing your life for others to experience, your followers, and the ‘likes’ you can get. You follow her as she willingly gives up her own private life (and the privacy of those around her) and the devastating effects of these decisions.
The Circle reminds me of A Brave New World – but recrafted for the digital age. Somber, disturbing at times, and graphic in certain sections.
The book is a bit heavy handed, but hopefully will help to open the eyes of its readers to be more cautious about what they share online (though I’m not entirely hopeful of this, given that 50% of millennials think their life should be made into a movie).
Audio elements: N/A (yes, I actually read this book)
Content: Mild adult language, Sexual content, Disturbing themes