The novel Feed takes place in a future where everyone lives in climate-controlled bubbles and goes to spring break on the moon. Clearly, we do not have such fun technology now, though we do have vague similarities—such as smart homes that have their technological controls on our phones. One could...
The novel Feed takes place in a future where everyone lives in climate-controlled bubbles and goes to spring break on the moon. Clearly, we do not have such fun technology now, though we do have vague similarities—such as smart homes that have their technological controls on our phones. One could even argue that the extent of today's body modification technology rivals that of the novel (in which it is trendy to have artificial lesions created across the skin). However, perhaps the closest similarity between the novel and our world is the predominance of technology that mines data from daily life and that subsequently uses algorithms to create targeted advertising according to the taste of consumers.
Our feeds are on screens, not inside our heads, but we still find ads for products that we have shopped for before or have even spoken about out loud—to a sometimes alarming degree of accuracy and immediacy. In short, like the fictional feed, the algorithm "knows everything you want and hope for . . . [i]t can tell you how to get [it]" (10.5). (This paragraph goes on to describe almost exactly what our current experience of online shopping, with pop-up ads, entails.) Luckily, today, we can download an ad-blocker, we can look away from the screen, and the ads (and the reminder of this surveillance) will disappear. The characters in the book no longer have that luxury, and scariest of all, they no longer seem to want it.
We also have, in a less ominous way, a version of the fictional feed's music services in our real-life Spotify, as evidenced by the quote:
There's nothing but the Feed telling you, This is the music you heard. This is the music you missed. This is what is new. Listen. (1.8)
The music-streaming aspect of the book's world is thus not even "amped up," as you say, but very accurate.
All in all, the happily consumeristic nature of the characters is the aspect of the novel that reflects most upon current society, as encouraged by the retailers' facilitation of that culture. Consumerism is responsible for an immense amount of waste, pollution, and wealth-oriented thoughts and actions. At least, for now, many people are still aware and wary of the role technology plays in our own culture and of the ways in which our thoughts are being directed by it.