Enjoy the Peepshow

“We want to connect,” writes Hal Niedzviecki. “We’re willing to reveal ourselves…if only that we might, for a moment or two, alleviate the loneliness we feel all around us.”

Niedzviecki’s new book, The Peep Diaries (City Lights), is a sympathetic profile of the geniuses, eccentrics, and normal folks in what he calls the world of “Peep”—revelation via electronic interconnectivity on a previously unimaginable scale. The desire to see and be seen isn’t new, but it is newly tech-powered. Through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, reality TV, and YouTube, we’re sharing more of our private lives and learning more about strangers’ than ever before.

Niedzviecki avoids the doomsaying that plagues so much commentary about sociotechnological change. While he discusses Peep’s troubling implications for privacy, surveillance, and criminal justice, he also recognizes that interconnectivity can be empowering, educational, and entertaining. Peep’s potential to add value to our lives deserves such reflective appreciation. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement