The Peep Diaries
How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our NeighborsBook - 2009
We have entered the age of "peep culture": a tell-all, show-all, know-all digital phenomenon that is dramatically altering notions of privacy, individuality, security, and even humanity. Peep culture is reality TV, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, over-the-counter spy gear, blogs, chat rooms, amateur porn, surveillance technology, Dr. Phil , Borat , cell phone photos of your drunk friend making out with her ex-boyfriend, and more. In the age of peep, core values and rights we once took for granted are rapidly being renegotiated, often without our even noticing.
With hilarious, exasperated acuity, social critic Hal Niedzviecki dives into peep, starting his own video blog, joining every social network that will have him, monitoring the movements of his toddler, selling his secrets on Craigslist, hiring a private detective to investigate him, spying on his neighbors, trying out for reality TV shows, and stripping for the pleasure of a web audience he isn't even sure exists. Part travelogue, part diary, part meditation and social history, The Peep Diaries explores a rapidly emerging digital phenomenon that is radically changing not just the entertainment landscape, but also the firmaments of our culture and society.
The Peep Diaries introduces the arrival of the age of peep culture and explores its implications for entertainment, society, sex, politics, and everyday life. Mixing first-rate reporting with sociological observations culled from the latest research, this book captures the shift from pop to peep and the way technology is turning gossip into documentary and Peeping Toms into entertainment journalists. Packed with stranger-than-fiction true-life characters and scenarios, The Peep Diaries reflects the aspirations and confusions of the growing number of people willing to trade the details of their private lives for catharsis, attention, and notoriety.
"Take a peek at The Peep Diaries, an erudite (but not too erudite) look at the culture that Facebook, Twitter, et al. have spawned." -- Real Simple
"It's a great read; it mixes frank interviews with people pushing the boundaries of voyeurism and exhibitionism, alongside a bracing critique of the social context that got us into peep culture and the forces that now exploit our participation in it." -- The Globe and Mail
"A snapshot of a world in profound transformation. Compelling and creepy." --Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and No Logo
"If you've found yourself obsessively posting to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube - and becoming a little uneasy about how it's changing your life - you should read this book. The Peep Diaries is a superb investigation into how technology is shifting the landscape of our private lives." --Clive Thompson, Wired magazine columnist
"A cogent and penetrating analysis. I certainly hope, as The Peep Diaries suggests, that the cruel spectacle we're witnessing on the tube most evenings actually holds some hope for a more loving future." --Douglas Rushkoff, author of Media Virus and Life, Inc.
Hal Niedzviecki is the founder of Broken Pencil magazine and has published numerous works of social commentary and fiction, including Hello I'm Special: How Individuality Became the New Conformity and Look Down, This Is Where It Must Have Happened , which is also published by City Lights Publishers.