As our lives are increasingly being guided by technology, we found ourselves asking what kind of spaces does this tech-driven, online world create for people? Does it manufacture new anxieties? Have we ended up creating a virtual world that reinforces the biases, discrimination and gatekeeping that exists in our physical spaces? This month, we’re recommending books that explore some of these questions and delve into the different ways technology impacts our everyday lives.
A speculative fiction novel by Samanta Schweblin, ‘Little Eyes’ imagines a future with hyper-surveillance that is full of small, furry toys called “kentukis.” Through its layered narrative, the novel offers us insights on what it means to be hyper connected, and how technology can sometimes work against us and harm the connections we nurture in our lives.
In this hilarious and vulnerable memoir, Tyler Oakley reveals what it means to make a career out of “oversharing” on the internet. In it, among other things, he covers body image issues on social media, his personal life, being rejected for his dream job and how his impatience grew after becoming internet famous.
Written by Aldous Huxley, and adapted into a graphic novel by Fred Fordham, ‘Brave New World’ is a dystopian novel set in a future world where citizens are environmentally engineered into an intelligence-based social hierarchy. With reflections on what technology and control mean, the book is both thought-provoking and frightening.
‘I Think You’re On Mute’ by Ellie Ross is the ultimate guide to navigating the small, but daunting anxieties that the internet brings into our daily lives. From trying to write the perfect email to being cat fished—this book answers all of the pressing questions we have about online etiquette.
Nisha Susan’s whimsical collection of short stories artfully taps into the love, violence, desire and intimacy that technology has brought into the lives of Indian women. In the book, we meet a cook in Delhi who is worried by her daughter’s cell phone conversations, three classical dancers discussing their sex lives on email, a young woman in Bombay who finds herself obsessed with a dead woman’s online relics and many more interesting characters.
A young, deluded woman whose life almost entirely takes place on the internet, finds herself lost when she gets a text from a mother that says, “Something has gone wrong”. Suddenly, and harshly she is pulled out of the virtual world, and called upon to deal with a family tragedy. In this searing novel by Patricia Lockwood, we’re invited into the inner world of this unnamed woman who must forcefully confront the ‘real’ world, and what it means to love and connect with those around us.
With all the personal data mining scandals that surround Mark Zuckerberg, it is crucial to ask how much control Facebook has over our lives? In this book, tech writer Steven Levy gives us a complete history of the company, and the controversies it is embroiled in.
In this stunning collection of essays, Jia Tolentino takes us on a journey of exploring what it means to be constantly online. Tolentino examines how the internet has impacted the feminist movement, the idea of “performing” for social media, it’s obsession with wealth and extravagant weddings, and the dangerous “lifestyle aesthetic” that it has normalised.
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