A Future of 24-Hour Technology Brain Implants, a Review of The Feed by M.T. Anderson
In a future not too far from our own, the continuous and codependent stream of consumerism and entertainment infiltrates the minds of society through "the Feed". Titus is just an average teenager who lives life synonymously within "the Feed," that is until he meets Violet a freethinking girl who challenges Titus to notice the realities of data-mining, self-ownership, and environmental decay.
I have to say that this book left me feeling extremely saddened. The story illustrates our world overtaken by consumerism, technology, and surface level connections between people. I felt so much for Violet, for her desire to form a meaningful relationship with Titus.
Debra Haffner describes that there are five developmental tasks of adolescent development, the Five I's, intellect, independence, identity, integrity, and intimacy (Ozer, 2012). As a teen transitions from a child to an adult, these areas develop and mature. Yet, in this story, this maturation and development do not seem to take place for the majority of characters, except Violet and her father.
I can see all the Five I's represented in this book, but I will specifically discuss identity and integrity.
"The Feed," usually installed at birth, becomes an integral and tantamount part of people's being.
Both the person and "the Feed" influence and affect one another and ultimately shape each individual's identity.
Thus, the question alluded is, would people develop different identities without "the Feed," or does the "the Feed" ultimately take away each person's development of a unique identity? Adults and teens alike use the same "slang like" language and flock to the same "latest styles." There is very little variance in people's personalities, of course except for Violet and her father who seem to have the most individual identities.
Developing from this lack of identity due to the consumer driven and self-centered nature of "the Feed," people seem to have lost a greater sense of morality and integrity. This can be seen in the rather disconcerted nature of Titus' dad visiting him at the hospital on the moon, Titus' friends' actions, and mostly in the continually negligent regard Titus has for Violet as she declines after her malfunction. The culmination of Titus' lack of integrity is showcased in the argument between Titus and Violet's father and the turning point in Titus' veracity comes to fruition in his final visit to Violet.
The sardonic nature of this book allows for a greater critical look at our own world today and can generate much discussion for young adult and adult readers alike.
Though I stated at the beginning that this book left me feeling saddened, I would still recommend this book. The themes hit close to home as we live in a world more and more influenced by consumerism, entertainment, and surface-level connections. Thus I believe readers can gain awareness and perspective on the impact of these factors in our lives through reading about Titus and Violet.
Yours Truly, LeNae
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Ozer, Yvette Malamud. 2012. A Student Guide to Health: Understanding the Facts, Trends, and Challenges. Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood. https://books.google.com/books?id=s-fCd6UrhusC&pg=RA2-PA30&lpg=RA2-PA30&dq=The+Five+I's+of+adolescent+Development&source=bl&ots=H8L-N86sRG&sig=poeJPynrqh14Hk39Xa9VUFe3kjM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi2y7ubwYnTAhXnxFQKHa1MBA0Q6AEINzAE#v=onepage&q=The%20Five%20I's%20of%20adolescent%20Development&f=false