How Modern Society Warps Our Perception of Self: Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

25 Aug

If you’ve been around for say, more than a decade, then you may have noticed that our world and the way we interact with each other and with ourselves has changed drastically over a relatively short period of time. In my case, I knew a time before computers were a household item, but began using them as I became an adolescent. I grew up online, addicted to blogs and instant messaging. Just a few years later, we were introduced to social media and smartphones and now spend an alarming amount of our time online and in constant communication with the entire world. Everything we do online is watched, whether it be by friends, by strangers around the world or by corporations and governments. Try as we may, we can never truly be off-the-grid. Sometimes I wonder, how does this constant vigilance affect our personalities? When I came across Trick Mirror, I knew I had to read it, since I had been contemplating this new world we now live in and how it has affected the way we communicate, express and see ourselves.

Trick Mirror is a collection of essays written by Jia Tolentino, an American writer and editor. This book is a cultural comment on how today’s society warps our perceptions of self. The topics covered by the essays span from social media’s hold on us, to her experience on a reality show as a teenager, from the connection between drugs & religion, to how weddings have evolved into their modern (horrifying?) forms today.

I particularly enjoyed the first and last essays (“The I in Internet” and “I Thee Dread” respectively), and I must be honest: if this weren’t a library book, I would have highlighted and underlined almost every other passage. So, if you’re the type of person who also likes to do that, fear not. In addition to physical copies, we have plenty of digital copies available on eBCCLS and eLibraryNJ. You can use ebooks to highlight your favorite passages!

Written by:
Samantha Evaristo
Library Assistant, Grand St. Branch

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