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, chatrooms, amateur porn, surveillance technology, Dr. Phil, Borat, cellphone 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 blog, joining every social network that will have him, monitoring the movements of his wife, hiring private detective websites to investigate his father, spying on his neighbors, and trying out for Reality TV. Hal holds a Facebook party for his 800 online friends – only one shows up! – and goes drinking with a group of middle class empty nesters whose new hobby is posting their amateur porn to the 'Net. 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 Peep culture age and explores its implications on 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.
Praise for The Peep Diaries:
"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.