Emma Gannon was born in 1989, the year the World Wide Web was conceived, so she’s literally grown up alongside the Internet. There’ve been late night chat room experiments, sexting from a Nokia and dubious webcam exchanges. And let’s not forget catfishing, MSN, digital friendships and #feminism. She was basically social networking way before it was a thing – and she’s even made a successful career from it. Ctrl Alt Delete is Emma’s painfully funny and timely memoir, in which she aims to bring a little hope to anybody who has played out a significant part of their life online. Her confessions, revelations and honesty may even make you log off social media (at least for an hour).It’s astonishing how the internet has totally transformed society in just a few decades. It’s hard to imagine life without social media and the abundance of apps most are lucky enough to have at their fingertips now. We shop online, get news online and date online. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t check Facebook at least once. Needless to say, I could absolutely relate to Emma Gannon’s debut.
I’ve been following Gannon on social media for a while now and love her podcast of the same name, which sees all types of creative people discussing the impact the internet has on their work and personal lives. Ctl Alt Delete feels just as welcoming, warm and authentic as Gannon’s blog and was so easy to get completely hooked on.
My favourite kind of memoirs are those that feel like you’re just sitting down for a chat over a cuppa and Gannon writing is perfect in this way. I adored Emma’s honesty, even when it meant talking about what must have felt like some of the most embarrassing situations at the time. Of course it was fun (if somewhat cringe-inducing) to read about Emma’s early online dating misfortunes, but my favourite part of her story was seeing how she leveraged her social media skills to build a career she loves. This is so inspiring, not just for those who are looking to pursue a career in the creative/marketing/communication industries. As technology continues to evolve, so must we and taking advantage of new opportunities rather than fearing them is the only way to get ahead.
I’m not going to deny I have a slight addiction to social media, but it’s one that is partly fuelled by my job as a journalist. While my job at a newspaper has essentially remained the same, it’s amazing how much the role has moved to include online elements in the three years I’ve worked there. Our website and social media is our first priority of the day. We monitor what’s working on our website and write content based on what people are most interested in. We shoot and edit video, upload stories and utilise new apps to add interactive content. It’s an exciting time to be working in this space and one where there are so many possibilities for those willing to take risks on new ideas.
Ctrl Alt Delete is the perfect memoir for millennials. It feels just like chatting with your best friend, but Gannon has crafted a book which is also honest and inspiring. I’m so excited for her future books and (of course) blog posts and podcasts.