For this spring 2013 edition of Banana Moments: Family Business Quarterly, I chose to feature the book Feed by M.T. Anderson. This is a provocative story that artfully depicts the crisis of the individual bullied by the powers and principalities of the network, i.e., the instruments of man which include technology and corporations. The “feed” continuously manipulates every thought into another purchase decision, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week.
FEED is a story about two teenagers, Violet and Titus, who live in the future where the smart phones have evolved into feed circuits wired directly to the brain. The data streams and apps impact the physical experience (smell, sensation, etc.). These feeds cause skin to form lesions and fall off, and hair to fall out. The earth is basically dead and people have evolved to living on earth and other planets in micro-climates simulating sun and atmosphere that are run by neighborhood associations, and supplied resources by corporations which trade mark School, Clouds, and Oxygen. Automobiles have evolved into “upcars” that hover and travel in tubes which replace the road.
The consumer becomes consumed as every human experience is programmed by “the feed” which contains endless messages to purchase goods and services, pay attention to political propaganda, news broadcasts, and monitors all activities to make suggestions for the next buy. Virtual shopping assistants show up in the mind unannounced, trampling over private moments, time and time again.
Violet and Titus learn that Violet’s feed is malfunctioning and attempts to get the technology company to repair her feed go unheeded because her consumer profile was not robust enough to attract corporate sponsors to pay for the repair. Because the feed is integrated with the brain, it cannot be removed or shut down; it is corrupting her ability to think, form and retrieve memories, and engage in life. It has compromised her limbic system as she lay in her bed, eyes open, emotionless and completely unable to relate to others, and disengaged except for the feed; and there is no help, no hope for her.
The moral of the story, Anderson writes, is learn to “resist the feed”.
Anderson’s call to “resist the feed” inspires this edition of Banana Moments : Family Business Quarterly to feature stories and perspectives about what it means to be a digital citizen, and the value of individual resiliency in a free society.
Table of Contents
- The battle for independence in a collective paradigm – featuring David Lema, technology executive, Dad and new Grandpa
- Resisting ‘the feed’ and connecting with ‘The Leader in Me’
- Abandoning our bullying ways: Say something, do something
- Blind Spots and the Parent-Teacher relationship
- A Google World in the Garden of Eden (family-safe strategies for safe texting and use of social media)
- Safe teen driving in an increasingly distracted living world
- Why having a good relationship with yourself matters for your children
- Nicolas’ Garden: Healthy eating app created by kids for kids
- Parents Who Rock Meet Up parent support group in Roseville – June 13 Topic: “What it means to be a parent in a cyber powered world”
- Welcome Banana Moments contributor, Steven Campbell “Why you must believe the change you want to see”
Joanna’s “aha moment” sponsored by
Mutual of Omaha
Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM, Tuesdays.
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