Feed (M.T. Anderson)

Every year, advancements in technology are released, ranging from improved laptops to phones. At such a fast rate, it comes to question where we’ll end up in a couple of years.

Feed by M.T. Anderson explores the idea of technology fully taking over the way we live. The young adult novel follows Titus, a teenager who, like the rest of the world, has a chip called the ‘feed’ implanted in his brain. With this comes a constant stream of advertisements, games, shows, chats, and everything else the Internet offers. Titus and his friends don’t give a second thought to the way the world works until a hacker causes their feed to malfunction.

Titus and friends are left alone to their own devices, unfamiliar to living without the constant feed in their heads. Suddenly, things change when Violet, a girl who decides not to let the feed control her life, arrives on scene. She introduces Titus and his friends to a new way of seeing their world, challenging all of them not to conform to society. Instead, Violet encourages them to acknowledge the wrongness of their situation, and to question authority.

Written in 2002, Feed explores an exaggerated version of a world we may be spiralling into. We depend on our phones for so much that when we somehow forget it at home, we feel a bit lost, and even desperate. Anderson also ties in this phenomenon with the issues of consumerism. In Feed, the characters are constantly bombarded with advertisements, which hinders their ability to make choices on their own.

Anderson’s writing style uses slang words and made-up terms which reflect the futuristic setting and emphasize the downgrade of intelligence. In relation to the world we live in today, it brings to question how internet slang utilized in texting becomes socially acceptable, how media is consumed, and how people communicate on a day-to-day basis.  In an exaggerated way, Anderson is commenting on the value society puts on entertainment, and how  this can affect daily life.

Through dark satire, M.T Anderson brings to life a story about a young man struggling with identity, within the context of a world controlled by media. While wildly dystopic, Feed looks at issues of the present, like the rise of technology, by emphasizing a prospective future where technology is at its peak.