Perhaps non-engagement is not an option, and we should think of social media in terms of strategic entanglement rather than strategic withdrawal.
Technology is not neutral. Even equations and computer algorithms, which may initially appear cold and neutral, reflect the values and assumptions of the people and organizations that construct them.
While smart and connected devices provide convenience and other benefits, they come with a variety of security and privacy concerns.
This new low-tech groundswell is fed by the steadily spreading realization that our favorite devices and apps—marketed to us as mere tools, or at most, servants—are, in fact, acting back on us in powerful ways. Why is this the case?
Those are ideas that The Circle plays with, but it ends up asking complex questions that result in apparent artistic incoherence. How do we use technology that benefits us without being enslaved by it or by those who control it?
The Shallows and The Next Story do an excellent job of motivating the reader to consider their use of media, but it seems to me that the different approaches taken by these authors are rooted in fundamentally different pictures of what it means to be a human being.