The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors by Hal Niedzviecki
OK, so it turns out that this here introvert is part of peep culture. I’m a blogger, and so I’m implicated. Blast it.
This book covers the gamut: social networking, reality TV*, surveillance, you name it. It’s enough to make any semi-private person freak out a little bit. (At least I did. A little bit.)
But hey! Look at me! I’m blogging!
The good news is that Niedzviecki keeps it readable and entertaining. He takes this stuff seriously, but he doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously, and I think that’s a good thing in an author.
He makes some gorgeously cogent points. For example: “…we yearn for community but lack the willingness to be hampered by the structures of community.” (p. 149)
The author suggests that we’re all scattered to the winds in today’s society (I’m a transplant; how about you?) —yet we still long for a sense of community. So we fly our freak flags online, looking for people like us. (Hi, guys. Glad you’re here.)
He also writes about our home being our castle, and man, I’m into that. And about how wealth allows a person greater privacy (gated communities, more space between houses, etc.) Acknowledged. There are days when the neighbors are indeed rather too close. So guess what? I escape into a book… or onto the web, heaven help me. Introverting… yet not.
We live in a strange world. We really do.
* which I claim to shun unless I’m in the presence of cable TV, when I immediately develop an urgent capacity to watch hours upon hours of Sarah’s House (Looking for a décor challenge, Sarah? Look no further…) and What Not to Wear (British or American fashion people, you can upgrade my wardrobe any old time; just don’t make me appear on TV or say mean things that would make me cry)