Books and New Media: Super Sad True Love Story

My last post about new media and culture, RE: Mockingjay Part I, was well received, so I thought I’d do another one concerning my favorite subject ever… Books!

I read Super Sad True Love Story last year. It is so obviously a satire of our current situation as a nation that it’s more uncomfortable than funny.

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Everyone carries around these devices, äppäräts, the ultimate smart phone. They even can aggregate all the data produced by and about you, compare it to those around you, and spit out “hotness” and “compatibility” scores. The apparat then projects these scores constantly to all the apparats around you at all times. Imagine that your Klout score was taped to your forehead. Eek! If you haven’t calculated your Klout score… Don’t.

Needless to say this was another example of a possible path advanced tech can take that also freaks me out. The tech of itself seems fine i.e., not a weapon, but the characters dependence upon devices to determine other characters worth and value was terrifying! I was reminded of Sheryl Turkle’s Alone Together.

Reading this book, just like watching Mockingjay, made me wonder if society as a whole is really thinking about where technology is headed and if that’s a place we actually want to go. It’s the passive acceptance attitude of the characters in these works and in the real world that is just a little unnerving.