In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age (Anglais) Broché – 2 septembre 2014
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"IN REAL LIFE is so much more than a book about online dating. It's about self-acceptance and being true to yourself in a world where you're influenced by so many people over the internet."―Jonathan Bennett, host of MTV's Copycat
"What I find most exciting about IN REAL LIFE is how it explores the Internet's impact on our perception of gender and sexuality, and how we portray our digital selves to the world to that end. As a fellow millennial, I'm constantly trying to adapt to how the digital age is molding our ideas of love and relationships. In Real Life does not attempt to define these ever-changing terms but instead works to understand them."―Kim Stolz, author of Unfriending My Ex
"Finally someone has written a smart and funny guide that helps young people navigate social media without letting it take over their lives."―Maude Apatow, actress and twitter personality
"Nev's book begins as a fun journey into the world of lying on the internet, but it extrapolates into the larger phenomenon of avatars -- everybody has one on social networks."―James Franco for Vice magazine
"The book is at once a memoir, a meditation on a truly unique phenomenon of the internet age, and a motivational address for anyone seeking virtual companionship. Schulman cautions his readers against lying on their social media profiles, and argues instead for improving "offline" life. "Embrace who you really are, both online and off" is the message at the heart of his book."―Publishers Weekly
Présentation de l'éditeur
IN REAL LIFE: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age
As the host of the wildly popular TV series Catfish which investigates online relationships to determine whether they are based on truth or fiction (spoiler: it's almost always fiction).
Nev has become the Dr. Drew of online relationships. His clout in this area springs from his own experience with a deceptive online romance, about which he made a critically acclaimed 2010 documentary (also called Catfish). In that film Nev coined the term "catfish" to refer to someone who creates a false online persona to reel someone into a romantic relationship. The meme spread rapidly.
Now Nev brings his expertise to the page, sharing insider secrets about:
-what motivates catfish
-why people fall for catfish
-how you can avoid being deceived
-rules for dating -- both online and off
-how to connect authentically with others over the internet
-how to turn an online relationship into a real-life relationship
...and much, much more.
Peppered throughout with Nev's personal stories, this book delves deeply into the complexities of online identity. Nev shows us how our digital lives are affecting our real lives, and provides essential advice about how we should all be living and loving in the era of social media.
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The book itself is written in a very personal way, very honest and just straightforward. I found it really hard to disengage at any point, I just kept going until I finished. After reading it, I can really say my whole point of view regarding all online relationships and our ways of communicating through social media, have completely changed. Besides from narrating his personal catfish experience, Nev really goes all out explaining how these social media online relationships work and all the basics, the do's and the dont's; But mainly, the importance of engaging in an offline relationship rather than an online relationship. It really is an eye-opener, makes you realize how much time we invest in our social media bubble, and sometimes forget about the real world out there.
After reading this book, I must say, I have real admiration for Nev Schulman. Learning about his story makes you realize that even after the roughest of paths he had to cross to get to where he is, it really is possible to get there. Even if it means stumbling upon some rocks along the way.
Long story short -- MUST READ for all of us who are way too into the social media world.
I didn't really know what to expect but by the title, I figured it would be a sort of thesis about online relationships--romantic and otherwise. As a happily married 30-something who has never done any online dating and uses social media strictly to keep in touch with people I actually know, I don't really have a personal stake in the topic. But I'm still interested in what he has to say on the subject because there's no doubt that social media has shaped the way we interact with the world around us. And Nev has proven himself qualified to comment on this societal change, given his personal history and current job as host of Catfish: The TV Show.
In the book, Nev mentions that we must all make responsible decisions online. He discusses a few examples of negative, mean things that people regularly do online that should avoid, including "posting a nasty book review." (I see what you did there, Mr. Schulman...) So I hope this review doesn't come across to anyone as unnecessarily critical. But...
The first thing I noticed is that he writes as he speaks. From page one, I felt like he's having a conversation with his readers...kicking back, sharing a pizza and some beers. I like that! But I quickly realized that he doesn't seem to know who he's talking to. The book is a hybrid jumble of three topics that aren't pieced together in an especially cohesive way and may even be geared toward three different audiences.
Topic 1: Some chapters read like a tell-all autobiography about his tumultuous teen years, floundering to find himself as a young adult, and how it's all impacted who he is as a person today. His fans will undoubtedly enjoy this glimpse of the man behind the chest hair but those that aren't familiar with him already may be left wondering, "Who's this guy and why does this matter?"
Topic 2: Other (far fewer) chapters read like an all-access behind-the-scenes look at the making of the documentary that spawned his career as well as a backstage pass to Catfish: The TV Show. And while I did like hearing his take on the psychology behind hopefuls and their catfish, I was a bit bored with the recap of his own catfish story. (I've seen the documentary. It's old news.)
Topic 3: The rest of the chapters, which I estimate is at least half the book, read like a self-help book geared toward those who are addicted to digital life...which, he argues, is most of us. He encourages readers to turn off their computers, put down their phones, and experience real life and real relationships. He goes on to preach about the "right" way to use the internet and even insinuates that unless you're using the internet as a platform to promote your creative pursuits, you're doing it wrong. (To this I say, without us "consumers" you and all the other "creators" on social media and elsewhere online would have no audience....just sayin'.)
Any one of these three topics would have made a compelling read if developed more fully. Personally, I would've liked to have seen him focus more on the third topic...but do it in a way that wasn't as redundant as what he delivered in this book. That said, I absolutely do want to take a moment to applaud Nev for his brutal honesty about his own mistakes and (sometimes) embarrassing decisions from his past. On page 108 he says, "Putting yourself out there— being creative— deserves support. It takes a lot of courage . Let’s reward that, instead of diminishing it." So kudos to you, sir.
"In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age" (2014 edition; 255 pages) starts off with the infamous scene from the "Catfish" documentary when Nev is sitting in his car in Michigan, about to meet Megan. In fact, if you have seen the documentary, be prepared for a lot of rehashing of it in the book (about 45-50 pages of the book). I ended up skipping most of those pages (spread over 3 chapters called "My Catfish Story"). However, as it turns out, the rest of the book is quite informative. Did you know that Facebook admits that (at last count) some 83 million profile pages are known to be fake? Not that I am on Facebook, mind ya. (And much to our surprise, we learn that Shulman quit his Facebook page in 2012.) The overall theme of the book in fact is one that can be applied to both the digital and real life world: "The most powerful thing you can do is learn to love yourself, to embrace and accept who you really are", according to Shulman. Shulman clearly is not a fan of Facebook, moaning that it has hijacked the term "friend" from the real-life meaning and value of a friend. He also makes some great observations about people at concerts who are capturing everything on their phone and in the meantime missing out on the real experience of being at the show. Amen to that!
Towards the end of the book, we get "Nev's Rules for Social Media", an 11-pointer on how to put some sense and sensibility back into the digitally crazed and obsessed society that we have ("Rule 10: Start a No Phone at the Dinner Table rule"). This book is reminiscent of another recent book in the same vein, "Unfriending My Ex" by Kim Stolz. Given the choice, I'd readily recommend Shulman's book over Stolz's, if for no other reason that Shulman is not nearly as narcissistically focused as compared to Stolz. "In Real Life" is a fairly quick read, and I felt that I had learned a thing or two by the time I came to the end of the book. Definitely worth checking out!
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