This book by Daniel Im, is organized around seven lies that are pervasive in our culture:
- You are what you do
- You are what you experience
- You are who you know
- You are what you own
- You are who you raise
- You are your past
It is chock full of interesting and surprising facts to support how technology is influencing us and accelerating change (not always good) in modern society. Although I agree with his assertions, many of the topics included are not supportive of his premise, or seem completely extraneous. For example he speaks about the “gig economy” as a way that people think “I am what I do.” In the gig economy an individual pieces together multiple jobs and roles to earn a living. A more appropriate illustration, in my mind, is the person who is completely focused on climbing the corporate ladder in a single vocation, becoming a workaholic or falling into despair when he or she fails to succeed or loses that identity. Under the heading, “I am what I know” Im tells us that when education became mandatory in 1918, the goal of the system was to produce compliant factory workers — people who would conform to routine and be obedient. If that’s the case, does it really cause students to think the more education I get, the better off I’ll be? I don’t think so. Therefore this information is interesting but not particularly pertinent.
Some biblical references were brought into the mix, but they seemed tacked on rather than woven into the discussion.
Pieces of the author’s personal story were given, but never fleshed out. I would have been interested to hear more.
Im also mentions many things I had never even heard of:
- Digital hoarding
- Viber messaging app
- Deciding to vacation based on how “instagramable” the location is
- A game called “Go”
- Preschool youtubers
This book may resonate with millennials, but it didn’t work well for me. Possibly the culture has drifted so far from my worldview that I no longer understand it.
VERDICT: Two stars. Although there was nothing wrong with the ideas presented, I found it fragmented and unsatisfying.
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The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255