‘The Circle’ Takes on Pokémon GoOne Book Discussion on the Privacy You Are Giving Up

Student tracks down ‘‘Poke Stop.” Photo Credit / Kathleen Kraemer Student tracks down ‘‘Poke Stop.” Photo Credit / Kathleen Kraemer
Student tracks down ‘‘Poke Stop.” Photo Credit / Kathleen Kraemer
Student tracks down ‘‘Poke Stop.”
Photo Credit / Kathleen Kraemer

Edita Bardhi
Contributing Writer

At the start of every school year, East Stroudsburg University’s One Book, One Campus arrives with a selected novel, accompanied by a campus book discussion.

The events are orchestrated by Dr. Peter Prium, an ESU philosophy professor and codirector of the Honors Program as well as head of the One Book Committee.

One Book, One Campus discussions are intended to give students and faculty members the opportunity to exchange thoughts about matters they may have concerning today’s society.

The discussion aims to help analyze societal-related issues that people encounter.

This semester’s One Book selection is Dave Egger’s novel, “The Circle.”

According the discussion, the book’s emphasis of the Internet, privacy, and security was compared to society’s interest of the new app, Pokémon Go.

Egger’s main character, Mae Holland, lands a job as a technician in The Circle, and as she progresses in the company’s name, she is obligated to use a “SeeChange.”

Using the “SeeChange” device, Holland quickly loses both her privacy and her security from continuously being tracked and recorded. Likewise, in order to succeed in Pokémon Go, players are obligated to travel around endlessly.

The book discussion, “Pokémon Go; the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” was held by Student Senate President, Andrew Kissiling and Student Activities Association’s Joe Akob and Fernando Alcantar.

Students surprised Akob by their outlook on technology.

Akob questioned readers about the level of riskiness the game may possess. Students responded, “It kind of is. People are getting victimized just for playing.” A current ESU student shared with the group, “I heard of a girl walking on the side of a highway, her head faced down, only in temptation to catch Pokémon.”

On the other hand, the app has made society more social, and adventurous, students agreed.

In relation to Pokémon Go players, Mae Holland was content with her job position at first, but later on she became uncomfortable.

Opinions on Holland’s issues with the public varied. Holland’s sacrifice made readers analyze the value of the Internet.

In the discussion, Akob explained the novel’s main purpose: to close the loop.

He then asked, “Would you be willing to give up your electronics to ensure the loop doesn’t close?”

Decisions bounced back and forth like a Pokémon ball.

Students concluded that it is possible, however it would trigger complications in certain fields of study.

All the same, this semester’s turn out of One Book, a count of eleven participants, has left ESU students with insights of the social media.

The theme, One Book, One Campus can be located throughout the year, and will welcome ESU with a new subject matter this coming fall.

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