Emily Perper is a word-writing human for hire. She blogs about her favorite longreads at Diet Coker.

The following four pieces resist cliches about social media and its impact. These authors do not shame nor condone; they do not preach. They take a deeper look at the tendency and luxury to share our lives with each other.

1. “O.K., Glass.” (Gary Shteyngart, The New Yorker, August 2013)

Shteyngart presents a colorful report on his experience wearing Google’s latest brainchild and his predictions for the near future of technology. (Shteyngart’s 2010 novel, Super Sad True Love Story, included technology eerily reminiscent of Glass.)

2. “A Tweetable Feast.” (Jared Keller, Aeon Magazine, May 2013)

The author posits that social media expands the dinner table and delves into the relationship among food, internet, and community.

3. “Tweeting Death.” (Meghan O’Rourke, The New Yorker, July 2013)

When his mother entered an ICU, NPR host Scott Simon live-tweeted the experience. What could’ve been garish was instead tender. O’Rourke posits that social media may be a safe, public space to mourn.

4. “Pics and It Didn’t Happen.” (Nathan Jurgenson, The New Inquiry, February 2013)

The New Inquiry turns its blend of astute observation, philosophical investigation and literary criticism to Snapchat.


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