The Incomplete Circle

The right to privacy has been a controversial issue for some time now. People want access to information, but still have the right to detain information they don’t won’t known. In Dave Eggers novel, “The Circle”, The concept of all knowing is achieved through the largest technological company, named the Circle and Mae the protagonist is nothing put willing to help reach the company’s objective. People’s right to privacy becomes diminished when they have to select specific things about personal information, or they begin over sharing.

Mae instantly becomes involved in her work life, and anything that has to do with the Circle, which is essentially everything. Mae gets so caught up with being known at her job that she starts to dismiss her relationships with other that actually matters. She starts wearing a camera on her shirt at all times, where viewers can watch and listen to Mae through out her day. Now Mae views conversing with her friends, and family as a task and to merely seek out information that can potentially positively effect everyone. What Mae seizes to realize is that even though she’s providing information, she’s doing it with out the acceptance of the source. People are aware of privacy policies, but some never fully understand all that it encompasses. Most people like being able to share information to who they want, but what companies do with that information is not always known, and not always ethical.

In an article, “People Are Willing to Trade Less Privacy For Access to Social Media” Keith anderson explains a post from the electronic frontier foundation that deals with Facebook’s privacy policy, Facebook started out with clear guidelines pertaining to privacy and made it very easy to control privacy settings. Ever since Facebook has become more popular, instead of increasing the accessibility to edit privacy settings, Facebook made it easier to access information about people itself, but more difficult to personally control privacy settings (2015). Since technology is advancing at such a rapid speed, people are also expecting to gain knowledge at a quick pace, and when that isn’t achieved people grow anxious and even angry that they don’t know the answer to a question. When Mae’s close friend Annie becomes induced in a coma after a fall, Mae visits her in the hospital but her reaction seems slightly in-genuine, and this is most likely due to the amount of time she spends trying to please her audience instead of her actual friends. Dave eggers write, “what was going on in that head of hers? It was exasperating, really, Mae thought, not knowing. It was an affront, a deprivation, to herself and the world” (p.269). Mae doesn’t mention the well being of Annie once, except to wonder what she was thinking. All of Mae’s other thoughts came from a desire to know, not to simply support a friend in need. Mae becomes frustrated that she doesn’t know what Annie is thinking, but all of Mae’s negative energy is being brought on by herself. Maybe she doesn’t need to know what Annie is thinking and maybe it’s better that way. Having knowledge is different from knowing information. Mae rapidly tries to gather information to figure out solutions or meanings, but rarely does she take the time to become knowledgeable on information she’s gathered and apply it to her personal relationships, which in return start to deteriorate because of her lack of empathy.

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