In Feed, how is consumerism and technology related to the loss of identity?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Because the titular Feed is a constant presence in people's lives, there is no way to live individually without the Feed and its influences. People live according to what their Feeds suggest for their interests, and have little autonomy for their personal tastes. This is similar to the current homogenizing of interests and the instant access to information and entertainment seen in modern cellular phone technology. However, the Feed overpowers almost all sensory input, creating a person who is less of an individual and more of a type; everyone likes the same things, and voices the same opinions, because that is what their Feed tells them. In the novel, the protagonist briefly suffers a virus that disables his Feed; this allows him to begin experiencing conversations, foods, and ideas that might never occur to him otherwise. When the Feed returns, he has trouble re-adapting to the constant flow of advertising and information; at one point, he drains his credit account buying a single pair of jeans instead of different fashions, which is seen as deviance.