Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 12 May 2015
Format: Paperback, 400 pgs
How many times do you check your smartphone a day? And how many hours do your surf online? What about those social media platforms? Do you have all the accounts to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc etc? Yes to all, some of you may answer. After all, we stay connected through our smartphones and computers in this time; we'd considered to be living under a rock if we don't, isn't it? That said, have you ever wondered what you would do without a smartphone or Internet?
Evie Rosen, our heroine in this story, is given this ultimatum "off-line" experience after she is being terminated for abusing the company's rule by sending too many personal emails and texts at work. Before this, Evie has dreams of becoming a partner in a well-established law firm and thinking of getting hitched to her famous restaurateur boyfriend of two years. Unfortunately, the latter didn't want to commit into marriage and they broke off. But what makes it worse is stumbling upon his wedding photos on Facebook six months later they broke up and Evie wasn't sure if the problems lied on her or that he just changed his mind on marriage. As if that was not enough, her date scurried off after knowing that she had Googled him before their meeting together. All of these incidents have made her decided to put off smartphones and Internet for good, well at least for some time.
Initially Evie felt anxious of the withdrawal from the Internet; it was unsettling to be so out of touch with the world, and not to mention it was undoubtedly getting harder to ignore the inconveniences of being computer-less. Then again, there was an undeniable calmness she hadn't felt in ages, and for that she felt a sense of peacefulness. From there, she starts things afresh by going back to the basics: communicating through phones instead of texting and emailing, meeting guys the conventional ways instead of online dating. She began to see things in a new light and learnt that she didn't unplug from life even though she'd unplugged her smartphone.
Fun, witty and relatable, that's my impression of this novel after reading it. I have to confess Evie didn't warm up to me initially but her character grew on me the more I read about her and how she'd changed her mindset on certain things. I liked reading about her relationship with her grandmother; some of those moments warmed my heart and it was rather inspiring to see how her grandmother coped with news of her breast cancer through optimism.
Well I don't think I would shut off Internet entirely, for there are certainly pros and cons for everything, including modern technologies. I can think of one very useful application such as FaceTime or video calls which allow us to talk and to see the faces as well. I certainly use this a lot communicating with my husband when he is away for his overseas business trips. Overall, I appreciate the conveniences of Internet, the connections of social platforms etc, and it is only an issue of not going overboard and making good use of it.