The Circle (Vintage)

The Circle has made me rethink the way I use social media. Dave Eggers book is about a twenty something named Mae who gets her dream job. She gets an opportunity at a technology company called The Circle which is very similar to Google. The company’s main goal is to make all information known and to “complete the circle.” The company encourages employees to take advantage of everything that is going on at the campus which allows little time for life outside the company.

What starts out as something great quickly changes as Mae begins to feel the pressure of working at a place that wants to eradicate privacy. Mae realizes she cannot live life outside of work and comes face to face with the dangers of everything being known.

This book is so relevant because we live in an age where more information is available than ever before. We are able to search for anything we want on the internet and if something is put on the internet it never goes away. Although social media sites, like Facebook, are great. There are times when we need to step back and wonder how far is too far?

It has been well documented the kind of information that Facebook keeps up with which is quite frightening to be honest. Here is a great read on the subject. The Circle does an amazing job of presenting this information and detailing the negative impact it can have on society. While reading the book I kept thinking about Google and Facebook and although I enjoy using both I wonder what their long term goals are and where the companies will be at in ten or twenty years.

There are certain parts of the book that I did not enjoy. Most notably the intimate scenes Mae has with certain men. It seemed unnecessary and the author goes into great detail about the sexual relations of the characters. There is also a great deal of cussing in the book that did not really bother me but it did seem forced at times.

Overall I believe that this book is important because of the impact it has on the way you process technology. Having access to all types of information is great but how far is too far? I believe that is a question that we need to ask ourselves. It is amazing to be able to Skype with someone who is on another continent but do we really need to be under constant surveillance? I love my iPhone but we need to come to the realization that anyone with a smart phone can record anything at a given time. Also, how much of our privacy has to be infringed upon before people truly start taking notice?

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