Mary asked:

Does it kind of freak you out to consider making comments about this book online at Goodreads, owned by Amazon? An "elevator speech" sum-up of The Circle, imho, is: Alice in Wonderland travels to Brave New World and finds it's 1984, and that's okay with her. This book has made me even more scared than I was before. Thanks, dave eggers!

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Mariana Lessa Meh. Dunno. Frown. Think. Smile. Zing!
Finn Nielsen Even liking your comment makes me uncomfortable now!
Allison Your question and our online conversation sums up the whole point of this "story". We are all voluntarily giving up our rights to privacy for the moderate and/or extreme conveniences/benefits that technology offers up. The irony of reading this book on Kindle was not lost on me! And yet it was so convenient... The irony of sharing this Q&A forum about this particular book also boggles. Everything shall be known. Share your knowledge and experience to help the community of a Circle readers. How long till privacy in the bathroom even gets taken away?
TJL Not really.

I think the point of the book is that while technology does offer a great deal of good things, it's important not to become SO obsessed with social media that you can't live without it, or so reliant on it that you lose your ability to interact with other people (face to face, I mean). The problem in this book is that the people at the Circle have become SO obsessed with connecting with one another that privacy is viewed as "stealing" parts of your life and self from everyone else.

Sharing your views and opinions with other people is good, but there's a time and a place for it, and you need to have a healthy balance between your private life and your public one.
Jay Miraldi I almost feel like it's worse than 1984 in the sense that they collectively offer themselves over to the machine, and they smile as they do it! no apprehension and no regrets...
tierneycreates I am currently reading it and starting to freak out - maybe I will leave all social media - yikes!
Patricia um, smile? frown? :)
Ashley I really started to ask myself whether it was Sun, Google, Amazon, FB that Eggers was writing about. I appreciate my slow-systemed, computer outdated, government job even more. Platinum handcuffs are still handcuffs, and lavish lunch buffets or other first-class perks will only serve to enslave a person.
Scholli2000 I had a similar feeling when I read my first ebook "Super Sad True Love Story" on my first ebook reader, the Kindle äppärät ("äppärät" is the all-knowing social media device in the book). :-)

Till now I didn’t even know that goodreads was acquired by Amazon. Are there alternatives with a huge community you can recommend?
Rick Presley If you want to get really paranoid, read "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power" by Shoshana Zuboff. Will make you want to go off grid immediately.
Veronika Linhart Yes, actually, it does freak me out. And at the same time I am envious and think that I am a neanderthal with my smartphone and one display laptop. When I was reading about the campus and the way they worked it did seem very - well, cool. But I think from the time that book was published and now, everybody kind of evolved. Now there are not as many pages a'la "like to help the kids in wherever" and the people that measure themselves in likes, comments or followers have gone down. At least the people I know. Of course there are still some left, but not as many as before. You don't check and compare anymore. Now privacy and not owning social media accounts and buying at local markets has become "cool". So I really think there will be a balance. First the hype of new technology and then the step back. And now everybody is aware and scared of tracking and GPS and what not.

Now the thing with goodreads and amazon: Amazon has all the information about reading when you have a goodreads account. But they didn't connect it - yet. I still get recommendations for books, that I marked as "read" on goodreads, and not that many recommendations for books that I marked as "want to read". Something that would be quite helpful even. But Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, ... you name them are all collecting data, but don't really use it yet in a potential they could. Everybody is collecting data but the way to use all this is not as simple as they put it in this book.

And now my last piece of mind about the 1984: I honestly think it's more of a "how to get to 1984" than that it is 1984. In the circle, everyone willingly and openly gives up privacy - in 1984 they are already robbed of it and the government has all knowledge and can change the news and past as they wish. Ty mentioned exactly that at the end, that this is where it will lead, eventually. So IMO this could be considered a modern prequel of 1984.
ChGk Absolutely and still we are unable to resist commenting or liking in the same way they do..
Anthony I don't think she finds it to be 1984, it's about how people willingly give up their privacy. In 1984 they didn't have a choice. I would say that the tagline should be "Be careful for what you wish for"
Griselda But the real questions is...are you more afraid of the fact that everything is connecting? That we are constantly under surveillance? That we are becoming very dependent on the convince that has been presented to us for the benefits of the organization running them?
Or are you afraid that as a species, we are allowing this to happen...and are doing nothing about it? And by the time we will probably already be too late?
Kendra I feel exactly the same and I hate the fact that Goodreads is owned by Amazon but haven't found a satisfying alternative yet - and I wouldn't want to do without the incredible amount of information available on Amazon, either. However, more and more often Amazon can't provide the information I want, not to mention the book, so I think it's most important to avoid literary dictatorship here by using as many resources as possible.
Jerilyn Lowery Not to mention the Fahrenheit 451-like chase for Mercer!
Jess I always just do my stars and leave it at that but it was like hearing Mae go on with all that rubbish brainwashed me and I actually wrote a few lines in my recommendation! 😳
Steven Colucci It's pretty funny that you guys are referencing 1984, because halway through this book, I went and picked up 1984 subconsciously for some reason, and have just started reading that lol Freaky...zing, smile, frown, awww poor Mercer...
Abby Goldsmith Ha! Google and Amazon KNOW ALL. I just figure they can't act on knowing all. Yet.
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