Even before the dinner with Mae’s ex boyfriend Mercer, she seems to be very preoccupied with the Circle’s transparency plan and her “Parti rank”. She sits for hours online trying to perfect her score and even chooses to complete that than go home and sleep after work. Mae also has become constantly watched as the Circle has begun to implement its own transparency plan, putting SeeChange cameras everywhere on campus, including eight in Mae’s pod. It becomes clear that many outsiders are watching Mae specifically and communicating with her throughout the day. It goes as far as Mae being asked to send a smile to a woman who has escaped rape and prostitution under a paramilitary group in Guatemala to show her support and to send a frown to the paramilitary group itself. Mae is so preoccupied with her transparency that she does so and only after doing so does Mae briefly to think about the consequences of this action.
When at dinner the feud between the two began after Mae takes a picture of his chandelier and goes upstairs to post the photo and Mercer’s contact information on her feed and other relevant sites. When she reveals this to Mercer he is really unhappy with her, but she is deaf to his pleas to stop because of her obsessive thoughts about PartiRank, Conversion Rate, and Retail Raw. Mercer berates her, telling her that she doesn’t realize that technology and the people who produce it aren’t always benevolent and that she is boring now that she spends all of her life producing more and more data about herself and doing less and less offline.
I believe that Mercer is absolutely correct in his statements. Mae has become so obsessed with her Circle technologies that she has lost touch with the outside world. I also believe that this phenomenon is occurring in todays society, especially in the new generations.
In 2016 we have access to new technologies every day, we all have smart phones, computers, laptops, ipads almost anything. I personally feel naked if I don’t have my phone with me at all times. This is a perfect example of how people are becoming so involved in social media and technologies that they may be missing out on what matters such as family and friends. Not only that but we have become so obsessed that we are now putting ourselves in danger because of technology. Texting and driving is just as bad as drunk driving however I see it happen almost everyday.
Have we as a society reached the same level of obsession as Mae has with technology?