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Feed Essay for English 102 – Comparison Style – MLA Format

2016 June 15
by recessionjuice
Feed Comparison Essay for English 102

Tony Washington
Professor Elisa Parrett
English 102
4 May 2016

Feed Comparison Essay – MLA Format – English 102


  • Minimum of 1000 words
  • MLA Format
  • Works Cited page

Using evidence from Feed and at least one article assigned in class, compare and/or contrast Titus’ society with our own society, noting whether the similarities or differences between our society and Titus’ society primarily indicate something negative or positive about each one.


There are many stories and novels available to readers that capture our imagination, spark creative ideas and lead us to think more critically about the world and people around us. One such story that sparked some interesting thoughts for me can be found in the fictional novel “Feed” written by Matthew T. Anderson. The main character is named Titus and the book follows him and his friends living their lives in a future world where it is considered standard practice to have a feed device implanted into the body. The feed allows its users to access and receive virtually any kind of media or entertainment, communicate without speaking directly to each other, instantly lookup just about anything they can dream of and even know when their parents are sleeping. With that said, there are many issues and themes throughout the book that can be related back to today’s popular culture. In comparing our society to that found in the Feed we start to see similarities to our very own society in the United States.  The story of feed shows how societies overuse of technology may harm, suppress, or stop all-together the development of unique individual ideas or thoughts and even the human element itself.


One consequence of overusing technology is that it may pressure others into abandoning their own convictions in favor of the social majority consensus. There are clear instances of pressure for those to confirm to ideal “social norms” and this is made apparent even for Violets Dad, whom initially rejected the entire idea of the Feed technology for himself and family; being he was a staunch believer that the Feed was not needed and they could get by just as well without it. This was until he was denied a lucrative job after company associates discovered he himself did not have a feed, which “They found this funny. Risible. That a man would not have a feed.” (Anderson, p. 288). At that moment he had a realization that his daughter, Violet, would require the feed in order to be successful in the world. This being only after his newfound thoughts after meeting with said associates. With everyone around him having the feed this put social pressure on him, eventually leading him submit to the social norms and bypass his own belief and conviction that the feed was not a necessary technology. Keep in mind that Violets Dad himself gets a feed device, albeit an old school one that was put on the back. This illustrates how the feed becomes a negative and hinders development of the individual thought due to being socially pressured to adopt a technology.

We can see similar instances in our own society in the United Sates where social pressures are being amplified by technology, such as social media sites that may lead others to submit to the popular or majority social consensus. Take for example being thin in America appears to be the popular thinking to view how attractive a woman is. Social pressures to be thin can put stress on young adults as they mature and are well-documented, such as eating disorders in teenagers in the US (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012). The feed technology not only pressures people in Titus’s society into abandoning their own unique beliefs, but also affects their self-esteem.

The feed is similar to our society when looking at social media sites and its very real impact/influence on the self-esteem of individuals. Paraphrasing from research findings from a Penn State study they note many people in our society with lower self-esteem “tend to be much more concerned with what others post”, while others with greater self-esteem would spend time adding and highlighting information on their profile themselves” (Swayne). In our society, as many youth grow up constantly connected to social media sites and some since birth, it is understandable how social sites could affect self-esteem over time. As feed broadcasts the constant messaging to its user base this ultimately affects how people view themselves compared to their peers. This is highlighted when Titus is recalling Violet mentioning how “she had watched all the shows about how other people live normally, and she really wanted to live like the rest of us.” (Anderson, p. 107). Violet did not have the feed installed until the age of seven years old, which is considered very late. Due to the delayed install her brain was not wired like others and likewise she did not think like others that had a standard installation. This causes her to be bit of an outsider compared to her peers who had feeds since birth. Her self-esteem is clearly affected by this as she wishes she could live like others do, instead. Another example of how the feed affects self-esteem is after Titus meets Violet and they begin to date. Titus and Violet get into a somewhat intense dialogue and much of the information Violet expelled was completely over the head of Titus with he himself thinking “… we both knew I was stupid, and then I looked away” (Anderson, pp. 113-114). Titus’s self-esteem is hurt due to Violet speaking intelligently and having a broad array of thoughts; significantly more than his feed technology could generate. This furthers the idea that the overuse of technology has consequences that stifle development of unique and individual thoughts and the human element itself.

The overuse of technology shows its negative impacts in the educational system in both the feed and our own society. Citing a recent NAEP national study they found that only 24% of 12th graders perform at the proficient level in writing; in this case “[The] Proficient level represents solid academic performance for each grade assessed. Students performing at this level have clearly demonstrated the ability to accomplish the communicative purpose of their writing (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012)”. To think the United States is a first world country, yet only 24% of graduating seniors from High School are considered clearly able to communicate their writing at a proficient level. Perhaps the overuse of a certain type of technology called digital phones coupled with social media sites is one issue showing how the overuses of technology can degrade the educational experience. As cell phone and social media sites become more prevalent in society this leads to unnecessary distraction, thus degrading the quality of the student’s education at their institutions. According to Adam Gazzaley, Professor of Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco, “Everyone suffers some deficit in performance when they’re exposed to irrelevant information, even if they’re aware they should avoid it and are trying to do so,” (, 2015). In the society of feed, most people do not know how to write properly and instead rely on their feeds to communicate with each other in unspoken words.

In Titus’s society the technology of handwriting is considered ancient and frankly obsolete; same can be argued for dialogue and speech. Early on in the story Titus is hanging out with Violet and asks her if she writes “With a pen?” and is “…completely in awe” (Anderson, pp. 65-66) of Violets ability. This highlights the fact writing is rare task for Titus, even though he attends School™, which is run by corporations. The negative impacts to education due to overuse of technology do not stop at handwriting in the Feed, it also affects the dialogue and discourse in Titus’s society. One character in the story showing this is named Marty. Marty barely speaks words in the entire book and has to purchase “speech tattoos”, which enables him to automatically say a phrase each time he was speaking. (Anderson, p. 278).  In an essay written in 2008 by Nicholas Carr he notes “When the Net absorbs a medium, that medium is re-created in the Net’s image”. This perfectly describes the scenario society finds itself in the Feed or even Social Media Sites of our own.


When exploring our societies through a macro level we see how the feed correlates back to our society in many ways. The paper touched on how indulging too much into technology negatively impacts educational systems, personal self-esteem and our ability to stick to our own convictions or beliefs. There is so much more to explore in this book and I feel as if I could provide 1000 more words to expand on the topic of how our society compares to the feed. I have already recommended this book to a handful of my friends hinting at them it has quite a bit in common with what you see in today’s world. May the feed be with you!

Works Cited

Anderson, M. T. (2002). Feed. Berryville: Candlewick Press.

Carr, N. (2008). Is Google Making Us Stoopid? The Atlantic.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). The Nation’s Report Card: Writing 2011. Washington, D.C.: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Deptartment of Education.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2016, February 1). Eating Disorders. Retrieved May 4, 2016, from National Institute of Mental Health:

Swayne, M. (2013, September 5). Esteem issues determine how people put their best Facebook forward. Retrieved April 17, 2016 (2015, September 8). The internet is full of distractions. Here are 7 tips to help you focus. Retrieved May 4, 2016, from Vox: