And Other Things I'll Never Do
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A former MTV news anchor and America’s Next Top Model contestant draws on her personal experience to generalize about the impact of the obsession with social media among those between the ages of 25 and 35.

Stolz presents dozens of exhibits of her rude behavior and anecdotes from friends who also exhaustively check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tinder and Gchat. The author estimates that she spends 4.5 hours per day on her smartphone and admits she doesn't hold up her end of face-to-face or phone conversations due to the fact that she constantly checks other friends' tweets and status updates. "We hate ourselves for using these things so much,” she writes, “but we learn to live with the guilt….We can remember when we were focused and attentive, and it bothers us, but that doesn't mean we will stop.” She also writes that “I concluded that my smartphone had been filling a void, but then I realized that was the whole problem: these devices never filled a void because there had never been a void. They just came in and pushed other, real stuff out." However, readers should note that she’s not complaining. Stolz writes that she has amassed 1,462 Facebook friends, including 478 people she doesn't know at all, who are privy to her photos, status updates and whereabouts. In contrast, the author’s mother's standards for whom she considers friends online and in real life are the same: people she actually speaks to and genuinely likes. Stolz offers analyses and observations from sociologists, psychologists and clinicians who support her beliefs about social media addiction, and she glosses such topical jargon as "e-cheating," "iBrains" and "digitally-acquired ADD." Though the author admits that her obsession is absurd and harmful, she amply demonstrates that she isn't seriously inclined to stop.

A mostly obnoxious magazine column stretched to book length.

Pub Date: June 24th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4767-6178-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2014


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