Unfriending My Ex and Other Things I’ll Never Do

Kim Stolz. Scribner, $24 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4767-6178-7
In this brief but lively memoir, Stolz, a digitally obsessed former MTV host and news correspondent in 2008, decides to give up technology for one week. Attempting to live with “less interruption and more deliberateness,” she forgoes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Internet, texting, and reality TV, and her iPhone (she allows herself a landline). In a “fugue state” at first, Stolz soon begins reading Walden, likening her one-week technology fast to Thoreau’s lengthier seclusion. As she deals with her technology withdrawal, she investigates and considers the various effects of society’s (and particularly her generation’s) dependency upon technology, finding that texting and smartphones allow chatting without relationship-building, loneliness in spite of keeping in touch, and increased anxiety. She also finds that Facebook fosters jealousy, spying, and virtual affairs, and links the addiction to ADHD (she even unearths an expert who predicts that no one will be spared some sort of “iDisorder”). Though Stolz writes with humor, her insights are nevertheless disturbing, particularly for 18–30-year-olds who check their smartphones before getting out of bed (and sometimes during sex). Her brief conclusion outlines some commonsense ways to change (e.g., put down the phone during dinner; meet face-to face) but readers are left with the haunting certainty that there is no turning back. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/24/2014
Release date: 06/24/2014
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-4767-6181-7
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4767-6179-4
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