Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Review: The Circle

Title: The Circle
Author: Dave Eggers

I have only been doing book reviews on non-fiction, but this novel was compelling enough for me to do a quickie synopsis here. I couldn't put it down.

Ever wonder what it's like to work at one of those big tech companies?  You've heard about the sprawling campuses with up-to-date facilities, free amenities to employees, and general happiness amok among the workers -- a regular utopia of employment.  This is what greeted Mae when she arrived for her first day of work at The Circle (a fictional tech giant that reminded me a lot of Google, at least at first).

While Mae's first priority is her work in Customer Experience, she is quickly called on the carpet for not sharing more on social media, both within the company and with the public in general.  As I read I wanted to scream, "SOME THINGS ARE JUST PERSONAL!" However, the argument quickly came back in my face, "Nothing should be personal. There is no need to keep secrets."

No more spoilers. However, this book raises some interesting questions about the potentially scary road we are traveling down with technology. What should we choose to share online? Who should own information that is online? Who should be allowed to have access to this information?  Can we really trust these people to "do no evil"?

Applications for Education:
The most obvious thing here is to be careful.  Always evaluate what you share, who you share it with, and to separate yourself from technology once in a while.  And pass that message along to your students.

I'd love to hear what you think of the book. Drop me a line and give me your thoughts!

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