Posted by: dystopiandaze | February 1, 2011

Information overload

Feed by M.T. Anderson

Feed by M.T. Anderson is probably one of the many books I’ll talk about that has much less emphasis on the young in young adult dystopian fiction; M.T. Anderson’s characters are sometimes in less-than-respectable situations and speak with less-than-respectable language. Perhaps because of this lack of a sugar coating, Feed depicted a possible future with such a vivid realness that I couldn’t stop from reading, despite the difficult family situations and rocky romantic relationships.

The book starts with our main character, Titus, beginning a spring break trip with his friends. He’s unsure if all the girls will get along with the guys and whether or not they’ll find somewhere cool to hang out. Normal, right? According to him,

We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.

-pg. 3, Feed

Quickly I realized that this book was not only in the future, but in a future much more technologically advanced than today. Anderson never directly describes these new technologies or how they work, but rather leaves his readers to pick up on the subtle details and hints that he scatters throughout the first few chapters. At first I found this annoying, but eventually I began to appreciate his technique; trying to decipher the unfamiliar lingo and unbelievable advances in technology pulled me into the book long enough to make me feel invested in Titus and the other characters.

Titus lives in a world in which the majority of people are hooked up to the “feed”. Instead of needing a computer to search the internet (aka the feed) you can use the chip installed in your brain to access the feed, seeing and understanding information in your head instead of on a screen. Instead of opening a web browser, going to Google and typing in your question, you would simply think a question and have thousands of hits with the answer popping into your head. Titus eventually rewards us with a bit of background on the feed:

People were really excited when they first came out with feeds. It was all da da da, this big educational thing, da da da, our child will have the advantage… That’s one of the great things about the feed – that you can be supersmart without ever working. Everyone is supersmart now.

-pg. 39, Feed

What started out as an advancement in the educational sector of technology soon turned into a standard for daily life; being connected to the feed meant being connected to everyone else. Have you ever felt as if you were on an information overload? Just imagine what being connected to email, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Youtube, etc all simultaneously could do to your sanity. We’re pretty close. (Which is probably why I enjoy reading Pioneer Woman’s blog; once a city girl living the life, she fell in love with a cowboy and has lived on a ranch ever since. If you want to read more about her slower-than-Feed-paced life, check out my blogroll to the right.)

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Responses

  1. This book definitely sounds unique. I think today’s world is centered around technology so much that it’s hard for me to imagine an even greater emphasis on technology. Not to mention you can’t turn it off…or can you? The concept of the feed is really interesting and crazy to me.


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