That’s the predicament of Jia Tolentino, former Hairpin and Jezebel editor, current New Yorker staff writer, and author of the essay collection Trick Mirror.

I was: ‘Hey guys, sorry you sent me to Christian school for 12 years and the result is me writing 10,000 words on how much I like drugs.’.

Black Lives Matter. “I’m not religious at all but I have a lot of respect for devotion in any form ... What religion is supposed to be, a continual inquiry into a mystery, I love that.”, When did she lose her faith? Her work is always informative and thought-provoking pulling together the fraying threads of contemporary culture without ever landing on simplistic conclusions.

And you'll never see this message again. “And I think that the real way you can see it is the way that people will act differently online than they will in real life.” Later she says. Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. This moment, [this] 30-year period of a drive towards faster communication, more ubiquitous, pervasive communication, especially in the knowledge work sphere, is more emergent and arbitrary than we give credit to. “Sometimes I’m on Twitter thinking, ‘Will we be f***ing doing this until we die?’”, She finds some elements of internet culture nightmarish.

“I spent Saturday night playing beer pong until 3am … I’m kind of, I want to say ‘average’… I’m so vulnerable to all the same things we’re all vulnerable to, and I feel that’s a useful thing to be able to foreground in your writing, to show your total lack of immunity to all the forces working on all of us …, “I crave that experience of physically inhabiting the centre of something as the only possible way of understanding it.”, Throughout her life, she says, she has written things down in order to understand them. It seemed so self-evidently meaningless and ephemeral and transactional and cold in a way that really hurt me.”, Does she feel that the internet’s destructive centrality in our lives is inevitable?

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“I tried to write about these things,” she says now, “in large part so that I would be spared the worst of that distortion. Tolentino’s debut collection of nine essays, Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, comes at a crucial point where the internet chimera of identity, culture, and politics has mutated beyond recognition. Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for the New Yorker. More than anything else—her clarity of insight, or brilliance with words—Jia Tolentino has a talent for evoking an uncanny feeling that she has read your mind. Even that small change can have a significant improvement to this background hum of anxiety. That’s when I try to read books the most, and I’ve stopped really wanting to look at social media then. At the age of 10 she wrote on an early Angelfire webpage, “The Story of How Jia got her Web Addiction.”.

Charles Duhigg: So did you like it?

She undertook an MFA at the University of Michigan and won the 2012 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, but found she wasn’t satisfied to just work on fiction all day and ended up taking freelance writing gigs. “I think more and more that what I’m trying to get out of writing is just a sense I’m in the right direction.”, Her essay, ‘The I in Internet’ is one of the best critiques of generic online behaviour I’ve read. Netflix: 10 of the best new shows and films to watch in November, Thin Lizzy members on the band’s rise and fall: ‘Heroin was the worst mistake we made’, Agatha Christie: A realist writer who created true literary magic, Viscera, a new short story by Dearbhaile Houston, Joe Biden: American Dreamer: Short but timely character profile, Psychiatrist in the Chair: Delving into the great mind of Anthony Clare, New poem: Some Things I Am Finding on Zoom®, Intimations, a new poem by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Putting Irish women writers back in the picture, Celebrating 10 years of young Irish writing, ‘Writing is a good way to process what’s going on in your own life’, Kate Hamer Q&A: ‘Write the story that is burning inside you’, Frequently asked questions about your digital subscription, Specially selected and available only to our subscribers, Exclusive offers, discounts and invitations, Explore the features of your subscription, Carefully curated selections of Irish Times writing, Sign up to get the stories you want delivered to your inbox, An exact digital replica of the printed paper, How Edna O’Brien found sanctuary among Jewish-American writers, A Rohingya speaks: ‘I will make sure that everyone listens’, Bearing witness to lost worlds – why Marxists are best placed to write an autobiography, Essays on John McGahern: a living presence in the Irish conscience, This is Not Propaganda: How Putin, Trump and Bolsonaro use social media, The greatest story never told: priest and author to launch website on faith and science, Toni Morrison examined slavery and its legacy with unflinching detail, A visit to Drishane House: When David Marcus met Edith Somerville, Toni Morrison, author and Nobel laureate, dies aged 88, The Lost Art of Scripture: The sacred texts need to be rescued.