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Ctrl, Alt; Delete: How I Grew Up Online

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  466 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Emma Gannon was born in 1989, the year the World Wide Web was conceived, so she’s literally grown up alongside the Internet. There’ve been late night chat room experiments, sexting from a Nokia and dubious webcam exchanges. And let’s not forget catfishing, MSN, digital friendships and #feminism. She was basically social networking way before it was a thing – and she’s even ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 7th 2016 by Ebury Press (first published May 12th 2016)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  466 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The whole way through I was just exclaiming 'YES YES THAT'S ME YEP!' or feeling my jaw drop at the 'realness' and cleverness of each chapter. I <3 Emma, all the retro and all the modern versions. ...more
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
How I Grew Up Online is an interesting discussion of difficult issues that can affect young people, such as self-image and how society today makes us very aware of how we look, especially with the media, and is written from a female perspective that shows how girls and women can be both negatively and positively affected by the online world.
I liked the sense of humour that Emma tells her stories with, when the story was not too serious in nature she made light fun of it, which I found quite ente
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
2.5 stars - This sits right there in the middle of the rating system because I didn't dislike it but I had really high hopes of recommending it to my equally as internet obsessed best friend... and I won't do that. I can see why so many people can relate to the stories of growing up online but for me the perspective and stories didn't apply. Not Emma's fault, but it did take away from my reading experience. I would definitely read a follow up book focusing more on her life after her career had t ...more
Felicity Richards
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed the first third of this, and all of Emma's personal anecdotes and memories, but everything else fell a bit flat for me. I just found myself not quite agreeing with alot, which is fine, but it muted my enjoyment. I also found the advice section to be a bit condescending. I think she has a great voice, but maybe it is just not what I needed to read at this moment.
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookshelf-read
An interesting insight into the impact of social media and the Internet on our lives, relationships and careers.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
I should have guessed from the title of the book "how I grew up online" that the book would be about HER. Nothing wrong about that but I just could not relate to her stories and her experiences on Twitter (mainly) and on Internet.
Overall I would say that the book is ok and is easy to read. I would recommend it to someone who uses twitter on a daily basis , has a blog or YouTube channel. Otherwise, a regular user of internet and social media may not be able to identify him/herself with the stori
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club-reads
Ctrl Alt; Delete is a book every millennial and Internet loving person needs to read. Even if you're not a big Internet person you still need to read it. Scratch that, everybody needs to read this book. It's so relatable, laugh-out-loud funny and also incredibly inspiring and thought provoking. Emma is such a gifted writer and this book was such a strong debut. I can't wait to see what she does next.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was the first book I purchased on @audible and I enjoyed it immensely! I feel it’s one of those books that should be on School library’s everywhere and chapters studied! As a mum of 3 the internet is a scary and intimidating place, but this memoir offers some great insights in to how the online world can help and how the likely good is there will be tricky times, embarrassing moments and times where you will want the ground to swallow you whole- but you will survive!
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are few books I would call wholly unputdownable, but this book is definitely unputdownable.

For a full review, please visit Pretty Purple Polka Dots
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book. Very relatable. Would definitely recommend to others. :)
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars
Claire Hennessy
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Emma Gannon is part of that strange new generation who make a living from the internet, whose blogging about the everyday has led to writing and journalism and speaking engagements and who applauds the entrepreneurial spirit of vloggers and other creator/influencer types.

She’s only a couple of years younger than me but the world she describes varies from familiar to terrifyingly alien. In the first two of her series of essays about her relationship with the internet, she depicts the stresses of
Sarah Noonan
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Emma Gannon is someone I love in the blogging world and I have been a long time follower of her podcast so reading this book has been on my list of 'to read' for a very long time. The book follows how Emma grew up with the internet and how the online world affected different aspects like feminism, sexuality, friendship and work life.

This is one of those books that is very chilled out, could-read-in-a-day and is very relatable. You can tell a blogger wrote it and I love that - especially because
Erin Rose
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Funny, relatable, and emotional at times, Emma's story is one that, as a 23 year-old who also grew up alongside social media, gave me hope as well as warm advice. Her style of writing is very engaging and eloquent, and straight after finishing I downloaded episodes of her podcast (Ctrl Alt Delete).
This book had me reflecting on times in my own child/teenage-hood, when MSN and Bebo were central to life.
Anna Barnard-Wright
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was just okay, I didn’t really take anything from it. I enjoyed the nostalgia trip about MSN and was expecting more of that but after the first couple of chapters it isn’t relatable unless you’re an internet celebrity. The chapters are long but lack substance and can be repetitive.
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really insightful and fascinating. I was born before the Internet but I am young enough for it to have been a big part of my adult life. But the thought of it being part of my childhood is untenable.
Some really interesting and thought provoking chapters. Written with warmth and a friendly tone.
Tahmina Begum
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Funny, makes you reminisce about growing up online and pushes you to become a freelance 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

Very much enjoyed the balance of positivity and genuineness
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, non-fiction
I bought this to read alongside my dissertation. I need to pick it up again and read it properly since university work didn't allow me to read it properly back then!
Hollie Copas
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cassie Winkler
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book! I really connected with Emma as I grew up with social media. I would recommend this book to anyone!
Miss Rebecca
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A funny and realistic look at life online.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Liked the beginning, felt a bit odd in the end. No spoilers
Leah Everitt
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So relatable, I loved this
Sean Goh
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting POV on literally what it felt like to grow up online, with MSN messenger (oh the days of mass convos and endless nudges) transiting into social media. Was good to read about the views of someone who more or less lives and breathes social media, which I try to limit, personally.
I had been putting myself up for approval from a stranger. I was essentially giving a virtual person, through a machine, permission to have a positive or negative effect on my real-life emotions.

You can te
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read my thoughts in this blog post ...more
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-releases
This review was originally posted here on my blog, Magic & Musings.

When you got home from school, would you always sign into MSN and spend the rest of the evening speaking to people you've spent the whole day with? Would you set your personal message to show what music you were listening to and then only listen to 'cool' songs to make you look edgy? Did you log in and out again when you saw your crush come online so they would definitely know you were online too? Did you 'accidentally' send them
Aug 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I’d come across Emma Gannon’s blog a couple of times before and liked her writing: it’s relatable, often funny, and touches on a lot of interesting stuff, so that made me interested enough to buy her book. Ctrl, Alt; Delete is exactly what it says on the tin – a memoir touching on various aspects of the internet that anyone born around 1989 will probably be familiar with: MSN, sexting, catfishing, MySpace, blogging, and so on. It also goes into her experiences forging a career in online work, as ...more
Sam Herbert
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
A thoroughly enjoyable and highly relatable book about growing up online. I enjoyed this book more than the ones Emma's blogger counterparts have written, probably because we're the same age: there's no talk of marriage or babies. Emma's stories of MSN, Myspace, and dial-up internet connection made me smile knowingly. She covers her experiences of catfishing, rude pics getting distributed and meeting people online. As she goes through her life, the internet devices change to smart phones and Fac ...more
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I’ve been a fan of Emma Gannon’s writing and her blog for quite a while - she’s got a clear voice and a great skill for observations and descriptions, so I was excited to receive a copy of her book to review.

This felt like a longform version of Emma’s blogging or her writing for the Debrief - witty, knowledgeable, warm and brave. That’s not to say new readers should be put off - this is an inclusive and honest memoir and I’m sure it will win Emma a host of new fans.

There were chapters I adored (
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I could relate to this on so many levels, maybe that's what made it so much fun to listen to. Well done Emma!
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