Unfriending My Ex (And Other Things I’ll Never do) by Kim Stolz (4 out of 5)
I read about this on Edelweiss and immediately asked Wendy at Simon & Schuster for a copy. I was not disappointed. The book itself isn’t out until June, 2014, so put it on your TBR lists, kids. Kim Stolz is a former contestant on America’s Top Model, as well as having stints on MTV, so she has a fair idea of what she’s speaking of in her first book. The effects of social media and reality television on society, today’s generation, and yesterday’s generation. You either will like or not like what you read. Upon reading parts of it to coworkers, I encountered a definite frosty tone over something I had mentioned. Likely, more often than not, due to the fact that I had hit upon something that the author said, and it was true in regards to this person, so naturally questions and accusations arose. It’s that kind of book.
Those, my friends, are the type of books I love nothing more than to read and recommend. If you’re an author, publisher, bookseller, or in the industry at all, social media is where it’s at. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. are often the best way to get the word out about your book- often, as in this case, before the book comes out and some indie bookstore manager happens to have a book blog and review it three months before it’s release. And since I thought it was incredibly well-written, researched, blunt, and funny at the same time, you can bet I’ll recommend the hell out of it once it comes out. And I hope my little review gets her some potential readers, because it is a great book.
Stolz examines our naughty social media habits. Facebook seems to fall under the banner of scrutiny more than most, due to the fact that it’s, well, widely and ridiculously used and relied upon, even in extreme and unnecessary circumstances. How much of an impact does Facebook have on us? She gives us multiple examples, multiple victims, and multiple mishaps that can occur from the mirage known as Facehook. Stolz herself has fallen victim to the phenomenon herself. The question of whether you should hide stories from your newsfeed, whether you should “like” statuses bearing bad news, whether you should remain friends with your exes or unfriend them, whether you should be friends with your mom, all of these and more are covered. I loved how frank Stolz is about her various situations have arisen throughout the years, and how she has handled them. She backs her thoughts up with not only her own experience, but with statistics, when needed. This book, at points, reads like an Emily Post Facebook Etiquette book. Love it! And yes, more of us should read this book.
Don’t even get me started on the Iphone/StupidPhone quandary. The number one thing that Stolz lists in this part of the book is how bad it is that people are glued to their fucking phones when in polite company! My friend and I just had this same conversation a few weeks back, and agreed it’s not only insulting, but downright rude. Stolz has done it, in fact, many stories abound in the book about her own transgressions in this area. The stigma of the technological wizardry attached to the modern day phones and how they control every area of your life in every aspect- true and frightening. I see it on a daily basis. The argument is that the more you are stuck to your stupid phone and riveted to a tiny screen that tells you what’s up without actually letting you participate in life, the less productive you are. I have seen this at my job! People are so hypnotized (brainwashed?) by the electronic phone signals sent from the device that they drop whatever or whomever they are currently doing or communicating with, to rush to see what ominous message the phone is delivering. Have you ever wanted to beat the living tapioca out of someone because you hear the phone going off constantly? And upon casually mentioning it, get smacked back by a condescending tone of voice because you tell them this isn’t the time, the place, etc? It’s a workplace, turn your phone off, and participate in that in which you’re being paid to do so. You’re not being paid to stay glued to your phone to see what underwear Jared Leto is wearing that day. True, true, true, Ms. Stolz, and thank you for pointing that out.
Even more frightening? Those who whip out the StupidPhone when in the middle of sex. The sex can’t be that great if the phone takes precedence over what’s supposed to be happening between the sheets. If the phone does take precedence, you don’t deserve to be between those sheets with anyone but yourself, your phone, and your hand. Just my opinion. Stolz’s conclusion? Not telling- you have to read to get her take on that. (And yes, she is guilty of that as well.). If you live your relationship by facebook stalking your current interest, your ex, or your fiancee, your relationship is in a crapload of trouble. If you live your relationship by having to text your other half obsessively, guess what? Not a relationship, but a HUGE trust issue in the making. You have a relationship by having a relationship, not a series of texts that “serve” as a communication tool between the two of you. Sadly, because of social media and its effects on society, this is what is functioning as a “relationship” for many people these days. Highly disheartening. Instead of going out with someone and having a date/conversation/etc, you have a series of texts that go on and on and on. I think I would rather talk to my Duran Duran posters than to try to conduct a semblance of a “relationship” like this. It’s refreshing that Stolz agrees and I’m not the only old fashioned person out there. I only hope that there are more of us to overcome the stupidity factor that Facebook, Twitter, and the like promote.
Phony profiles? Phony facts? Not posting a picture because you’re afraid of what people will think of you? It’s called avoidance. Social Media allows this sort of masquerade to continue. It’s a travesty- it’s also why a lot of online dating websites and hookups do NOT work out. Yes, Stolz addresses that as well. Happily, almost everything she says on this subject echoes what I’ve been saying for years. I’m not the only fool not buying into the bunk.
Basically, you get the gist from reading this entertaining book that society and humanity are in deep shit, because social media has such a mind hold on people that they can no longer tell rhyme from reason, true females from cyber sluts, fact from fiction, so on and so on, so on, and so on. We are in trouble because we are allowing this to continue. What to do? Well, you can start by reading Stolz’s book (with an open mind) when it comes out in June. And then you can try to amend some of her suggestions into actual being, and maybe some things might change. At least don’t buy into the hype.