We are…Obsessed

131003_books_zing-jpg-crop-promovar-mediumlargeMercer is a dry, sarcastic character. He is in his early twenties and makes chandeliers out of antlers. His creativity and motivation is slowly corrupted by the massive tech company, “The Circle.” Mercer knew Mae as her younger self when he dated her, and he sees how the Circle is changing her. She is losing sight of what matters, and is enthralled in dysfunctional customs that the Circle practices.

Mae views the Circle as the most prestigious company to be employed at, however, this impairs her ability to distinguish between her real life and simulated life. There is a clear difference between the two worlds. She is overwhelmed by the pressure, so she conforms to the expectations that the leaders encourage. It’s “campus” is a mix of entertainment and debate, but lacks any real nature of creativity and human collaboration. Mercer’s argument that the company is pushing toward “perfection” and “world domination” may seem exaggerated, but is it? He is bothered by the fact that Mae is overly enthused with this company, and she is trying to push the issues onto Mercer.

Mercer’s comment to Mae reflecting on how boring she has become is a valid statement in his defense. He remembers Mae as a fun-loving, adventurous person. He now looks at a girl who is confined to standards and expectations. Her world is corrupted by lack of privacy, and this begins to ruin relationships with old friends, like Mercer, who are not exposed to the Circle’s required customs. The statement, “Equal access to all possible human experiences is a basic human right” is not justifiable. Recording others for their every move is not experience it is invasion of privacy. Mercer sees this, but Mae does not.

He observes her at the dinner table, on a rare occasion that she’s actually with her parents, where she is so focused on her cell phone and “zinging” that she fails to communicate with them. Mae ignores the significant people around her because she is so desperate to be in another world. She wants to be accepted, and therefore begins to forget what her true morals and values center around. She disregards what she truly cares about just to fit into this simulated world. In truth, her real world is what she actually wants to live in, but denial prevents her from changing.

44995The world of social media and technology is overused. We struggle to maintain face-to-face relationships, and personal connections because of the technological overload. Dave Eggers illustration in the Circle is not far off from what our future could be headed towards. Today’s social media culture is highly addicting. People spend more time on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter than they do interacting with others around them. Doesn’t this seem concerning? Our future world relies on technology, but is this what we should accept? I see that Eggers point was to illustrate a future world that we could be headed in the direction of, but can’t we take a higher position, and evolve that into a better use of such a valuable asset. There are people in this generation who could make a change…and a change needs to be made.

One thought on “We are…Obsessed

  1. Mercer is actually one of my favorite characters in the novel, his principles are steadfast and he is quite unapologetic with his remarks to Mae.I think your observations regarding the root for Mercer’s concern are quite articulate and do explain why he was so worried about the onset of such a social-media oriented age and how it was taking over his ex girlfriend. I particularly enjoyed how you have incorporated your own analysis and worries regarding the age of social media. I agree that we need to look up from our phones and focus on the people around us, but as someone who has her loved ones on the other side of the world, social media is what keeps me linked to them. I understand that overuse is what is really killing us all, but one cannot completely wave it off as alarming. Some of us might prefer the company of someone in that phone rather than the person sitting in front of us.

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