Genre – Satire/Political Fiction
Page Count – 247 pages
Rating – 4/5
Everyone has felt the ennui which inevitably comes with being connected to the Internet all the time and the deeper one gets into it, the more difficult it becomes to explain it. Maybe you have also wanted to criticize it but the fact remains that even that has become impossible without sounding bitter and unprogressive.
Lauren Oyler has written a beautiful and oft times sarcastic account of what it means to be always connected. Fake Accounts, however, is not just about social media and the emptiness that comes with it. It explores relationships in times when there’s nothing left to say but everyone seems to be speaking together, the death of new ideas and a desire to do more while never taking a step.
“I’d gotten used to using people I’d never met, or met a few times, to muffle the sound of time passing without transcendence or joy or any of the good emotions I wanted to experience during my life, and I knew the feeling was mutual, and that was the comfort in it.”Fake Accounts, Lauren Oyler
The narrator of the story might have been inspired by Oyler herself. She writes articles for a Buzzfeed like website and on a trip to Berlin, starts a relationship with the quintessential artist who is self-centered and obnoxious but essentially incapable of creating anything. A good time into their relationship, she finds that her boyfriend, Felix, runs a very popular conspiracy theory Instagram account. But before she can break up with Felix, she gets the news that he passed away in an accident.
Lauren Oyler touches upon every single feeling you might have had while using social media in the last 3 years or so. The narrator participates in a performative act of standing up against the Trump administration but her lack of genuine interest is apparent. During a protest supporting rights for women, a man hits on her. These kind of satirical anecdotes are present throughout the book and if you are not paying attention, they might skip your notice.
Related Post – Luster by Raven Leilani
But these anecdotes are what make the book what it is. It is self-aware, even when being pedantic and critical. There are hints of the author making fun of herself and her ideas but being relentless towards others as well.
The book doesn’t leave you satisfied or happy. Felix fakes his own death making him a minor celebrity which makes for an extremely frustrating ending. The last few pages left me with the same feeling that scrolling through social media for hours does.