Our Virtual Shadow

Our Virtual Shadow Summary

We’ve become a world of infinite status updates, constant tweeting, and compulsive pinning—behavior that can put documenting our lives at odds with actually living. We blame technology, but our need to capture time didn’t start with Instagram. In Our Virtual Shadow: Why We Are Obsessed with Documenting Our Lives Online, long-time culture writer and Quote UnQuote app co-founder, Damon Brown calls upon personal experiences, pop culture observations, and historical evidence to answer key questions concerning the prioritization of our “virtual shadow” over our real lives: Does documenting our lives keep us from living it? Do we sacrifice our sensual experiences (touch or taste) when we use technology to capture memories? And when did this obsession with life documentation begin? Back in the caves of Chauvet? Brown doesn’t believe we should stop technological progress, nor is he advocating that technology is necessary to the progress of humanity. Instead, he forces us to question how we have become so dependent on social media and why, like technologies before it, it taps into our basic human need to be remembered and understood. And ultimately, Brown offers lessons about using social media tools while also teaching us how to stay present in our real lives.

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