Former America’s Next Top Model candidate and MTV Video Jockey Kim Stolz recently released a book called “Unfriending my Ex and Other Things I’ll Never Do. Off the cuff, does not seem like a thing this reviewer would casually gravitate towards, but I picked it up after flipping through the first 5 pages or so at Powell’s.
Stolz starts off be regaling readers with her noble social experiment of trying to live without computers, a cell phone, or DVR. Her first chapter is her experiences with this venture, a thing that seems so out of touch with the way people live their lives in the early 21st century. She describes the experiences of feeling like she has lost a limb, rushing home to check her voicemail messages, asking her assistants to print out her scripts instead of reading them on the screen and watching TV shows in real time.
The rest of her book is an analysis of millenials and their seeming device-addiction, exploring the shift of culture and interactions. She shares stories from the her life and the lives of her friends, woeful tales of internet misconduct from a generation that has been on the frontline of severe lifestyle change, egregious faux pas that have damaged romantic and platonic relationships and fearful tales of aspiring to some level of celebrity. Her stories are backed up with solid research, done by academics and other experts in the field.
Stolz provides interesting and thoughtful commentary, questioning older, more 20th century attitudes about social interactions in the digital environment, what it means to develop a digital identity, and what celebrity means in a world of reality television.
Four out of five stars, I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in technology or anyone who works with students in any capacity.