Thursday, May 4, 2017

Review: The Circle by Dave Eggers


Goodreads Description:
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. 

As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. 

Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in America - even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

Google turns evil.
This is the story our grandparents have in mind when warning us about technology and to be honest, I have kept in mind. Sure life is easier, the Circle has made sure of that. But maybe, life is too easy and for some, having accept to absolutely everything not just terrifying but downright wrong. 
The Circle has no one but the best people in technology and they are all working together towards using technology to making life easier for everyone, everything from TruYou, a single profile that contains absolutely everything about you to TruYouth, a tracking device on kids that ensures that AmberAlerts become obsolete and unnecessary. The book seriously talks about everyone and everything being accessible, cameras are all around, you can search everything about everyone and nothing is left unseen. 
Surely this sounds like a perfect world thanks to the fact that trolls are existence since everyone's true profile is out online, crimes are committed since everyone is being watched, kids aren't kidnapped because they are tracked.  We, along with Mae love this, we see nothing wrong, want to see what an ex is up to ? Surely someone if not himself has a camera set on his life, simply pop into his channel and watch.
The book kind of made me question my whole online life, like sure, by my definitions, I am doing nothing wrong.
Blogging: Well its books, surely there is no harm in that, I take tons of pictures and the book did make me uncomfortable about that. And what I mean by that is that I do often find myself looking at places thinking HEY that would make a great place for a book picture or planning to go places with bookish pictures in mind. So like.. Maybe books are a little too much a part of my life. 
Fanpages: Its like a drug, yeah I say and feel like I can quit those at any time of my life, and I am not spending much time on them to be honest, once a week I look for pictures and then thats it, stay for about 5 minutes every time that I post like 3 times a day... But maybe I CANT quit, maybe I have been pulled into this whole thing that is social media in which I need approval about everything that I like and therefor I post and I seek the approval of those that also like the same thing that I do.
Yeah... the book made me a bit paranoid. 
I feel like that is the point. 
It kind of reminded me of Black Mirror the whole technology obsession.
The Circle wants to know everything and will even have meetings with workers that don't put everything out there on the internet, but to the whole point of obsession. Mae gets told off more than ones for not documenting everything in her life but like Mae starts to realize that hey, they are right! I am depriving others of the same experience that I go through, that she is stealing from there and so privacy is something WRONG!
The whole place is a cult. It was disturbing to see Mae transforming into what the Circle wants to enforce. The Circle becomes as strong as the government if not stronger. 
Once Mae decides to be a more solid part of the Circle we see just how much people start to adjust their behavior when they know tons of people are watching which is a bit disturbing, always having to worry about what people think, knowing you'll be a piranha if you don't.
Until the very end, things continue to grow more disturbing when it comes to how much information is out there, there is nothing that can't be known, there is no choice. 

Recommend it?
YES I do, i really do.