S protagonist is mae holland a woman in her early

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’s protagonist is Mae Holland, a woman in her early twenties, who secures a job at the social media company the Circle, located just outside of San Francisco. Throughout the novel, Mae is a naïve employee who quiets her nagging conscience by constantly reminding herself that the innovations of the company are for the greater good. The Circle’s big inventions has been a ‘Unified Operating System’ TruYou: ‘one account, one identity, one password, one payment system, per person’ ( C 21). The time of ‘false identities, identity theft, multiple user names, complicated passwords and payment systems’ were over ( C 21). It is interesting that Eggers puts the crime of ‘identity theft’ on the same level as the inconvenience of ‘complicated passwords’. It foreshadows how the novel treats identity as a whole; as something that stands in the way of a convenient online life. Transparency and Overstimulation Mae starts her Circle career at the bottom. As a customer service employee, Mae must assist and answer question of clients of the Circle. While at first Mae’s desk consists of one screen on which the customer queries appear, screens are added quickly to her workspace, ultimately ending with no more than nine screens she needs to pay attention to simultaneously. The others screens show her the outcomes of customer surveys, her PartiRank (ParticipationRank within the company), but also her physical well-being, that is being monitored by her watch. The set- up of Mae’s second screen needs elaboration. The second screen, immediately installed after the first, is for intra-office messaging ( C 52), explained to be meant for ‘your coworkers, your team, and it’s about finding people in the physical space’ ( C 97). Even though Mae is constantly reminded that she is not an ‘automaton’ ( C 47), and that she not only works in a workplace, but in a ‘humanplace’ ( C 47), her supervisor mostly communicates with her through this second screen. It is significant that ‘physical space’ is mentioned, since it suggest the company’s disposition towards physicality and virtuality. The physical and virtual world are seen as separate entities, with the latter leading the first. The flow Mae’s social media presence generates is massive and all -consuming. Mae starts off with more than 10000 followers, since every Circler is required to have an active TruYou account, post several entries per day and comment on each other’s posts. Fairl y quickly in her career at the
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58 Circle, Mae receives tens of thousands followers more; people who follow her throughout her day and comment on her every move, since there is also a webcam feed available of every corner within the Circle’s grounds. Steven Shaviro sees this as the fate of the ‘networked consumer’: to be intensely involved, and maximally distracted, all at once ’ ( Connected 26). With this statement, Shaviro’s sums up the core of being a Circle employee and consumer.
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