Here is an excerpt of “‘My Name is Ned and I’m an Addict’: Facebook and the Personal Essay.” The essay was adapted for Triquarterly Online after being presented at AWP in February 2011 and can be viewed in full here.
It’s a way to be in touch with a group of people I might not otherwise be in touch with. As an English professor, I live in what you could call a narrow little crypto-Marxist community where everyone shares a certain set of allusions and agrees that we are all in the know. [laughter] Phillip Lopate in Against Joie de Vivre talked about sometimes pushing a prejudice as far as you can, to find out the limits of what you believe. I think he is right about this, and we need to learn to be more honest about our beliefs.