The circle is a company that tries to be innovative in whatever they do – trying to show both their employees and outsiders that their company can be summed up in three ‘catchy’ phrases: secrets are lies, sharing is caring, privacy is theft. These are the circle’s philosophies, and they abide by these statements in everything they do.
Eamon Bailey, one of the wise men at the circle, believes that all information should be shared with the entirety of the company and beyond, and sums up his beliefs in these three saying. Primarily, the phrase “secrets are lies” is completely a denunciatory statement – in the sense that he basically accuses everyone of lying if they decide to keep anything private. While the employees at the circle understand the fact that they are supposed to share their lives each and every day, there are a few things nobody would want to share. When Mae and Francis (almost) have sex, they both tell each other intimate details. Certainly, Mae said things “she would never [have said] if she thought anyone would ever know she’d said it” (Eggars 204), and Francis had been recording it the whole time. While this isn’t necessarily a secret, it is something she just wouldn’t want to share with the circle. Because of Bailey’s mottos, this video would be put into the cloud for anyone to see – an extreme invasion of privacy and destruction of self worth (despite the fact that it was extremely possible that no one would see this video because of the numerical amount of photos and videos in the cloud.)
This example (presented above) lends itself nicely to the phrase “sharing is caring.” This is a phrase we have all been taught as children and grown to understand, however, Eamon Bailey has turned this silly rhetoric into a dark, twisted motto that essentially turns everybody’s personal life (even outside the circle) into an open book. Mae is someone who doesn’t need to be constantly updated with the details in everyone’s life around her – she’s someone who takes advantage of personal time to herself, but in doing so, ended up committing “a crime.. [by borrowing] a kayak without the knowledge of the owner” (297) resulting in confrontation by police. Bailey uses this horrible phrase to change Mae into someone who believes that constant surveillance is a necessity – the face of the Circle.
Mae thought she was simply getting a personal, private experience by kayaking, but instead got reprimanded for it – a perfect example of how the circle is always preaching the mantra – “privacy is theft.” In the environment in The Circle, thieves get caught; privacy is essentially illegal: the reasons Mae was considered to have committed a crime.
I believe strongly that some of these mantras apply to society today, but in a different regard. If I were to ask someone what the phrase ‘sharing is caring’ means, he or she would most likely give an example of a little kid sharing his toy or a wealthy person giving money to a homeless man or woman. In this regard, sharing is caring. I can almost guarantee nobody would say sharing a video of two people being intimate is very caring. When I ask someone what the word ‘theft’ means to them, a common answer would probably be robbing a bank or stealing candy from a convenience store. If I asked them the same about privacy, they would respond along the lines of keeping information personal like social security number or their home address. These two have no correlation to each other, and in no way is having privacy a form of theft.