Monday, December 23, 2013


Title:  Fakebook
Author:  Dave Cicirelli
Publication Information:  Sourcebooks. 2013. 320 pages.

Book Source:  I read this book because of an interest in social media and the interesting premise of this experiment.

Favorite Quote:  "It struck me that 'having to ask' was soon going to join ranks of the mix tapes and 'Be kind, rewind' - a relic of another time. How rare is it now that we have to ask? Facebook in its simple grayed-out text, does the asking for us every time we log in: 'What's on your mind?'

Such a simple question and so effective. With no other prompting or incentive, we answer volumes. We're a billion voices, speaking at once, contributing to a thorough autobiography of our times and writing it in the moment. We're constantly report in on ourselves and others - what we like, where we are, who we are with, how we feel. In shot, we answer Facebook's question.

And Facebook catalogs every answer. Each post and every photo is stamped with a time, a place, and an ID. I mean ... we 'tag' each other in our photos, for Christ's sake. We make sure no detail goes unrecorded.

The scale of this gave me pause and frightened me a little. It still does."

Dave Cicirelli was on Facebook, as our million of other people. He got tired of seeing two things -  how wonderful other people's lives sounded or how much minutia people chose to share. On almost a whim, he decided to start an experiment - creating a fictitious life for himself - and see what happened. What happened and where it led went beyond what he could ever have imagined.

The basis of his fictitious life begins as he announces that he is quitting his job and walking cross country. He is tech savvy and able to create pictures and tell stories about where he is walking. Soon, it gets more complicated than he imagined.

Soon, he has two lives - the fictitious one and the real one. Soon after, his "real" life becomes about giving validity to the fictitious one. Who knows it's a hoax? Who can, therefore, provide comments to add validity? Where can't he go and who can't he see to avoid discovery? How much of his real life is spending keeping up this fiction?

In addition, his fictitious life begins to have a very real effect on people. He gets messages of admiration for having the courage to take off in that manner. He gets messages of criticisms from those who wonder how he can be so irresponsible to just walk away.

He keeps this up for six month. On April's Fools Day, he announces that it was all experiment. Again, he gets messages of both admiration and criticism, and he finds himself a changed person.

This book is a fascinating look at the far-reaching impact of social media. How much of what you read is real? How much do you believe? Do any of us truly understand how far our own impact reaches when we put something on a social media site? Do any of us know how we sound or come across and how different that is from our original intent? All questions all of us would do well to think about.

I do know that for me, my blog would not exist without the existence of cyberspace and social media. I write for me, but I love when I know that what I write reaches people. Just so you know, my reviews are my honest opinion, and not a hoax.

No comments:

Post a Comment