The concept of never having enough and being eager to indulge into the latest and greatest is comparable to my first smartphone. I was in 9th grade when I received my first phone (the iPhone), and I have been upgrading every year when Apple releases their newest hand-held computer. This phone was in a different language, a different look, and in a different world than I had ever laid my eyes on. The phone had multiple uses including: text, call, play music, explore on safari, and most importantly applications. However, the only applications that ever drew attention were the social media outlets, ranging from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine. All of which were in a device four inches long that had the extraordinary ability to post whenever and wherever. This was new to me. Never have I shared instantly after I experienced something worth while to upload to my accounts. It was always hours or days before I had the ability. The notion of instantly sharing made everything that was being shared more important and more significant…or I assumed it was.
Now a full-time college student, and after reading The Circle, my interpretation of what social broadcasting is has changed dramatically, and in result freed me to become a healthier human. The observation that I have encountered so far in my exploration to expunge my usage of social media has been quite suitable for myself. I see that not only did social media corrupt my mind of always having to let others know what I was undertaking, but yet it helped me become smarter as well. Reading The Circle led me to unclutter my eyes from what was really happening in the world. I had always wanted to connect to others, but now I have come to the conclusion that I shouldn’t. Well, not much as I should because it is my OWN personal life. One’s personal life shouldn’t be publicized throughout the world for my peers, families, and unknown pupils to comment nor judge. I have transmitted an extreme amount of details since my first social media accounts, but yet I now understand that privacy is my new goal in life. To be private, but yet connected in other means. I can examine my desire to have privacy through a short personal experience in my life that can be relatable to a certain important scene that is the sole meaning of The Circle.
Comparable to most, I decided one day to “Google” myself, to see what records of me were fluctuating throughout the World Wide Web. I pressed enter after my name was typed and I saw old photos of myself playing soccer from a no longer active website with past score lines that I participated in. I thought to myself “Wow, this is still up?” to no actual thought I almost closed out of the screen until I clicked on photos. There were pictures of myself playing soccer, but also my tweets from Twitter account. Rows and rows filled up the screen from past to present tweets. I couldn’t fathom what I was feeling. At first searching my name seemed to be a satisfactory event, but it turned into a nightmare. I closed out of the page with much irritated thoughts, so I decided to do an experiment. I pulled out my phone and tweeted, then I went to my computer and repeated the process of looking up my name. I clicked on the photos icon, and there it was. Just five minutes prior I tweeted, and the picture of the tweet was there. It was the very first picture on the screen. Looking at that tweet brought me an anger that was controllable but it still made me furious. To see that my own personal life was up for grabs and anyone, anywhere in the world had the accessibility to search my name, look at my tweets and identify exactly what I was doing made me sick. I never would have predicted such an unreal event to happen and catch me off-guard. It made me feel that I was never alone.
Seeing all of my tweets on the internet gave me a new perspective on what the purpose of social media is, but nothing like what Mae experienced her first month of work. When she went to the first circle meeting and Eamon Bailey released SeeChange, a camera system that lets you see anything, anywhere in the world, at any time you would like. After the outstanding presentation that left all the circler’s in aw, the screen dropped in the auditorium and it says “ALL THAT HAPPENS MUST BE KNOWN” (Eggers, 68). From my newly found way of thinking, this is freighting. For example, you can set up your own personalize camera in the world and no one would know that you have been watching them, or per say, observing and studying them. No one would ever have to live in private, nor live in the peace of mind of not being watched. I feel that Mae’s and I situation of discovering what is really happening in the world, is an overarching message of complete and utter success by society to fully diminish solitude.
If everything in the world was known, then where would the pleasure be found for unveiling the unknown? My own interpretation of the cloud of social media has changed from an ordinary boy who loves to connect with friends and family all across all means of sharing to a private, scared man who is terrified for what the world has to offer next. Mae’s and I experience of understanding what the world is capable of has now driven us to become privatize. After reading The Circle the realization of becoming more private then I have ever anticipated has now became a reality.
Eggers, D. (2013). The Circle. New York City: Vintage Books.