Franzen: Technology an Alternative to Love

The celebrated author of Freedom and The Corrections gave his commencement address at Kenyon College more than a week ago, but it’s burning up the Internet today thanks to The New York Times. The newspaper published an abbreviated version of Franzen’s speech, which argues that the ubiquitous Facebook “like” feature is symptomatic of our culture’s reluctance to love. “To expose your whole self, not just the likable surface, and to have it rejected, can be catastrophically painful,” Franzen writes. “The prospect of pain generally, the pain of loss, of breakup, of death, is what makes it so tempting to avoid love and stay safely in the world of liking.”