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BOOKS


Author Interview Emma Gannon


Emma Gannon’s latest book calls for a re-injection of hope, humanity and heart into our online lives and interaction


Caroline Sanderson @carosanderson F


ive years ago, when in her late twenties, Emma Gannon released her first book: Ctrl Alt Delete: How I Grew Up Online. It’s a funny and thoughtful memoir


which charts her formative experiences on the internet as a Millennial woman born in the same year as the World Wide Web. Now, having since built a highly successful career as an author, speaker, novelist and host of an award-winning podcast, Gannon returns to the same territory in her new book: Disconnected: How to Stay Human in an Online World. It’s a short, pithy manifesto in which she ponders whether the internet is increasingly losing its humanit, and provides practical prompts as to how we can have a beter experience with the tools we plug into every single day. When we chat via Zoom, I ask Gannon, who has a combined following of more than 100,000 on Twiter and Instagram, why she was keen to return to the subject. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while—so much has happened since I wrote Ctrl Alt Delete. It might only be five years ago but it feels like hundreds of internet years. And while a lot of what I wrote then still chimes with me I also wanted to look at how things have changed, and how our behaviour on the internet now isn’t always great.” Gannon admits to a certain wistful feeling for the early days of her life online she described in Ctrl Alt Delete. “It was all so innocent and sweet. We were writing on each other’s Facebook walls, recommending songs. Hanging out on MySpace and sending pictures to each other. And Twiter was a place where you told people what you were eating for breakfast. I guess there’s not much point


Photography: Adam Brazier 44 3rd September 2021


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