The Peep Diaries: How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors

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9780872864993: The Peep Diaries: How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors

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.


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About the Author:

Hal Niedzviecki's writings on culture have appeared in newspapers and magazines across North America. He is the founder of Broken Pencil, a magazine covering zine culture and the indie arts. In addition to three novels and a story collection, Niedzviecki is the author of Hello, I'm Special and We Want Some Too: Underground Desire and the Reinvention of Mass Culture.

Review:

"Ubiquitous video technology and the Internet have ushered in a "peep culture" that makes us all either--or simultaneously--exhibitionists or voyeurs, according to this eye-opening study. In good participant-observer fashion, Niedzviecki (Hello, I'm Special) dives into our mania for observing and revealing pseudo-secret personal information: he starts a blog, applies to reality television shows, does video surveillance around his house and slips a GPS tracking device into his wife's car. He's content to merely interview, rather than join, the middle-aged couples who post their amateur porn online. He argues instead that peep culture reprises an ancient impulse to bond through the sharing of intimacies, but worries that our digital version of village gossip and primate grooming is a weak and fraudulent foundation for community (out of his 700-odd Facebook friends and blog readers, only one showed up for his offline party). Niedzviecki's smart mixture of reportage and reflection avoids alarmism and hype while capturing the strange power of our urge to see and be seen." --From Publishers Weekly

"Ubiquitous video technology and the Internet have ushered in a 'peep culture' that makes us all either--or simultaneously--exhibitionists or voyeurs, according to this eye-opening study. In good participant-observer fashion, Niedzviecki (Hello, I'm Special) dives into our mania for observing and revealing pseudo-secret personal information: he starts a blog, applies to reality television shows, does video surveillance around his house and slips a GPS tracking device into his wife's car. He's content to merely interview, rather than join, the middle-aged couples who post their amateur porn online. He argues instead that peep culture reprises an ancient impulse to bond through the sharing of intimacies, but worries that our digital version of village gossip and primate grooming is a weak and fraudulent foundation for community (out of his 700-odd Facebook friends and blog readers, only one showed up for his offline party). Niedzviecki's smart mixture of reportage and reflection avoids alarmism and hype while capturing the strange power of our urge to see and be seen." --Publishers Weekly

"Hal Niedzviecki's new book coins the term 'peep culture' and harnesses a ton of research - as well as his impressive analytical skills - in a way that's sure to make the term stick. Peep culture refers to the phenomenon that currently finds us all yearning to watch and be watched. It's spawned everything from reality TV to Facebook to complex spy technologies used for entertainment and other, not so benign purposes. . . . Writing with astonishing clarity - and even beauty - Niedzviecki piles on the ironies. In peep culture, TV shows like 'Cops,' originally intended to curb crime, wind up promoting it. . . . Essential reading." --NOW Magazine

"Real Simple collected some of the best books out there to help you find your great summer read. . . . If You're Having On-Line Withdrawal. . . . 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 Magazine

"In The Peep Diaries, author, social critic and indie-culture poster boy Hal Niedzviecki explores, with humour and insight, how we got hooked up to this IV drip of perpetual connectivity, of watching and being watched. 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

"What's Peep, you ask? As social critic Hal Niedzviecki explains it in The Peep Diaries: How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors, Peep is the innate human desire to know and be known, to see and be seen, to communicate and be communicated with. We are social animals, goes the Niedzviecki Hypothesis, and this primitive compulsion to reach out and touch (or view) someone harks back to our days as mutually grooming primates. . . . Taking us on a guided tour of over-the-counter spy gear, chat rooms, personal blogs, surveillance technology, and even the bizarre world of online amateur porn, The Peep Diaries provides a lighthearted overview of oversharing. --AARP Magazine

"'You need to know. You need to be known.' That is the compulsion fueling what cultural critic Hal Niedzviecki calls 'peep culture, the bastard love child of gossip'--our mass addiction to twittering, tweeting, snooping, spying, blogging, gawking at reality TV and YouTube, spilling our secrets on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Ping...the list goes on. 'Call it surveillance with benefits,' he writes of our consuming need for human connection in The Peep Diaries (City Lights), a virtual descent into the loneliest of worlds. --Oprah Magazine

"For obsessive Twitter-ers and Julia Allison haters, journalist and cultural critic Hal Niedzviecki's fascinating nonfiction book might just be required reading. In it, he examines the world of what he has coined 'Peep culture,' the oversharing of one's life through blogging, Facebook, YouTube, etc., for a mostly anonymous audience." --AM-NY

"The Peep Diaries might very well be the most important work of non-fiction to be released in Canada this year -- even this decade. Informative and entertaining ('infotaining'), the author's revealing -- and often disturbing -- look at our growing obsession with online over-exposure should be required reading for anyone hoping to better understand who we have become and where we are headed." -- Stephen Clare, The Chronicle Herald --The Chronicle Herald

"In The Peep Diaries, author, social critic and indie-culture poster boy Hal Niedzviecki explores, with humour and insight, how we got hooked up to this IV drip of perpetual connectivity, of watching and being watched. 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." - Nora Young, The Globe and Mail --Nora Young, The Globe and Mail

"What's Peep, you ask? As social critic Hal Niedzviecki explains it in The Peep Diaries: How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors, Peep is the innate human desire to know and be known, to see and be seen, to communicate and be communicated with. We are social animals, goes the Niedzviecki Hypothesis, and this primitive compulsion to reach out and touch (or view) someone harks back to our days as mutually grooming primates. . . . Taking us on a guided tour of over-the-counter spy gear, chat rooms, personal blogs, surveillance technology, and even the bizarre world of online amateur porn, The Peep Diaries provides a lighthearted overview of oversharing." - Janet Kinosian, AARP Magazine --AARP Magazine

"The Peep Diaries, published by San Francisco-based City Lights, is a compilation of revealing narratives, blog posts and researched sociological observations, all interestingly intertwined. It leads to the conclusion that today 'life is lived on constant record because you never know when you're going to want to rewind something, see it again, confront a family member, show it to the police, sell it to the highest bidder, or post it on your blog.'" - Joseph Hnatiuk, Winnipeg Free Press --Winnipeg Free Press

"Niedzviecki has written a well-researched tome, one that reportedly took two years to write, about the seismic shift in pop culture that sees millions of people who are willing to expose themselves in ways both literal and figurative. . . I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who is participating in our Peep-obsessed culture. If you blog, Tweet or use any other form of social networking to reach out and connect, this is an insightful and penetrating tome about the truths and consequences of taking part in that process. Indeed, as The Peep Diaries reveals, these are interesting times to be both a voyeur and an exhibitionist. The only remaining question is: where do we go from here?" -Zachary Houle, PopMatters --PopMatters

"If Niedzviecki is right--and he presents a disturbingly compelling case--more and more of us share the feeling. We want to know everything we can about everyone else, and we want everyone else to know almost everything about us... Peep was born of our fascination for celebrity, nourished by Hollywood, television and the whole apparatus of pop culture. It drew critical sustenance from reality TV, the best-established and arguably the only profitable Peep industry, which implanted the notion that even nobodies, at least briefly, can be celebrities. But it is our embrace of social networks and other Internet sharing sites that is turning Peep into an unstoppable force with potentially profound consequences." --Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen

"If you're looking to better understand how reality TV and Twitter have become so influential, Hal Niedzviecki explores our increasingly exhibitionist culture in his new book The Peep Diaries. Fear not, this is no dry academic exercise. Although Niedzviecki does have some genuine insights, The Peep Diaries, as befitting a book with 'peep' in the title, is also well-stocked with salacious anecdotes. The suburban housewife blogger with fetishes for spanking and Star Wars is just one memorable example." --The Washington Post Express

"This book describes 'peep culture' as a rapidly emerging cultural phenomenon made possible by technological change. It is incarnated in so-called reality television, celebrity gossip sites, blogs, YouTube videos, social networking sites, and other media that are moving what was once private, from the mundane to the embarrassing, into the public sphere. In order to investigate 'peep culture,' the author immersed himself in virtually every aspect of it that he could, from trying out for reality television to joining every social network he could. He reports on these experiences and ruminates on the implications of 'peep culture' for entertainment, society, sex, politics, and everyday life." --Book News

"The book is well-written, extremely funny and insightful. In the end, readers with social networks may think twice before posting certain photos, messages, and daily annoyances for the world to see." --Kacy Muir --The Weekender

"Niedzviecki avoids the doomsaying that plagues so much commentary about sociotechnological change. While he discusses Peep's troubling implications for privacy, surveillance, and criminal justice, he also recognizes that interconnectivity can be empowering, educational, and entertaining. Peep's potential to add value to our lives deserves such reflective appreciation." --Bill Flanigen --Reason.com

"The Toronto-based social commentator presents a compelling case that more and more of us want to know everything we can about everyone else and want everyone else to know almost everything about us. This is Peep culture, and Niedzviecki declares that it represents the most fundamental transformation of Western society since the Industrial Revolution." --Don Butler, Canwest News Service --National Post

"Social critic and indie-culture poster boy Hal Niedzviecki explores, with humour and insight, how we got hooked up to this IV drip of perpetual connectivity, of watching and being watched. 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." --Nora Young, The Globe and Mail --The Globe and Mail

"The celebrated Toronto-based indie-cultural commentator offers a stinging critique of our mass move towards erasing privacy, as online social networking sites, reality TV and an obsession with celebrity encourage us to display our every detail to the entire world. An important book that encourages critical thinking about how this shift affects our society and communities." --Stefan Christoff, The Hour --The Hour

"The Peep Diaries is a crash course in the many ways our culture exposes itself and an investigative, often humorous look at just how attention-starved and lonely the majority of people are. Talking with many of the average Joes who expose themselves through tweets, blogs, posts and webcams, Niedzviecki . . . [argues that] the more we become connected by computers through our obsessions with `reality,' the more disconnected we become from reality." --Pacific Sun

"'Blog posts, images, videos, tweets, dating profiles and friend updates', [Niedzviecki] says, are creating a culture without privacy, a culture of 'wanting to know everything about everyone and, in turn, wanting to make sure that everyone knows everything about us. [He] argues that the handful of people who walk about with digital cameras on their heads, so that they can put every part of every day online, and the people who beg to be contestants on reality TV shows, are simply extremes of the Peep that engulfs us all."

-Stephen Burt --London Review of Books

"Despite its often-lighthearted approach, The Peep Diaries sheds light on the darker corners of the rapid changes in how we communicate, the repercussions of such a shift in paradigm and the root causes for its embrace." -Kyle Armstrong --ChristianWeek

" . . . 'The Peep Diaries' sheds light on the darker corners of the rapid changes in how we communicate, the repercussions of such a shift in paradigm and the root causes for its embrace." --Kyle Armstrong, Christian Week

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Book Description City Lights Books, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 213 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780872864993

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Book Description City Lights Books, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 213 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780872864993

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Book Description City Lights Books, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 213 x 140 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780872864993

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