Hashtagged: This Is How the Future Started is a captivating story about where we’re all headed if we don’t watch out.
It is, by turns, illuminating and horrifying, imagining what may happen if the millions of Facebook friends, Tweeters, InstaGrammers, and other Social Media users around the globe don’t voluntarily throttle it back some and gain perspective about the prodigious amounts of personal information they are shooting into cyberspace.
I loved this book. It is the well-written tale of Maddy Smith and her journey to a not-so-distant future, where an authoritarian government—aided by the ever-evolving technology spawned by an unchecked Internet Goldfinger—threatens personal liberties in a very real and chilling way.
Yes, it is science fiction, but just barely. The author manages to weave the story of the hunt for her beloved and long-lost father, a charming and far-sighted innovator in hashtag land, and a merry band of technological misfits known as The Dinner Club, into a full-out glimpse of an apocalyptic future that may yet await us all.
As I said, it is a cautionary tale of where our digital footprints will lead us if we’re not more careful. But it is mostly just a good read—a true page-turner that, as they say, you won’t want to put down.
There many good turns of phrase:
“Some days the adventures were virtual—knowledge gained, technology explored.”
“Truly winning is about more than employing the various techniques of strategy and the so-called rules of people. It’s about layering those with a bit of art.”
“‘Focus on the pattern, indeed.’ This was a phrase that I heard many times in my life. I can still hear his voice today.”
“This would have been their version of a Rave, all lined up and sniffing the cocaine of the future—a time-traveling man.”
Five stars for Hashtagged—and a warm welcome to an outstanding storyteller.