Reviewed by Matthew Bridgewater and Estee Beck, Bowling Green State University

boy kings

Publisher: Free Press

ISBN: 978-1451668254

Reviewed by

Matthew Bridgewater


Estee Beck

Critique & Conclusion

The book is strong overall and, as stated in the "Introduction & Relevance" section, would make for a thought provoking addition to a graduate seminar or undergraduate class. While Losse draws on the implications of gender and technology through her positions and experiences while working at Facebook, she ultimately decides to leave the company as she saw that Facebook began to replace her real life relationships with digital ones. This echoes what Rosen discusses in her article "Virtual Friendship." But we wonder if Losse's reaction to disconnect herself from the company and social networking is problematic in of itself. While it is important to acknowledge how technology affects people's lives, we also have to consider how we balance our digital selves with our "real life" selves. Thus, we ask what is the appropriate place for social networking within our personal lives and within our professional lives, such as using it for professional networking and as a pedagogical tool in the classroom. While this book is written for a popular audience and is not from an academic press, this book gives readers much to discuss and critique.

One area that the reviewers thought was somewhat distracting to the larger considerations of gender and technology was the storyline deviating into a romance narrative, at times, between Katherine Losse and Thrax (another Facebook employee). In a way, the romance narrative between Katherine and Thrax might be interesting to the book's intended audience. And at times, it adds to themes such as involving privacy and control over one's life, or what affection and intimacy looks like in person and online. Many readers, though, might see the romance as a publisher's plot device meant to move the book along. However, we might also interpret Losse's romantic notions as yearning for that real life connection that she was so interested in exploring since her life became more concerned with digital interactions than real life ones. This plot device does provide a point of discussion for those in a graduate or undergraduate seminar class to consider in relation to how people's lives are mediated in both online and offline spaces. Overall, the reviewers think this book is highly intriguing and does a good job giving a unique perspective from inside Facebook, from a female employee that became "the voice" of Mark Zuckerberg.



Rosen, C. (2007). Virtual friendship and the new narcissism. The New Atlantis: A Journal of technology and society, 17,pp. 15-31.