Very funny and very pointed, Adam Haslet's "Seibert", honored in the Best American Short Stories 2014, gets to the root of how technology - our personal obsession with it and its role in creating a society built on surveillance - disrupts our relationships with each other. Single in New York and connected to her smartphone, Sylvia has a problem living in reality. Or, rather, she lives in an alternate reality of constant scrolling headlines promising apocalypse and of friendships mediated through text messaging.
But when she meets the stylish, shy Seibert for a date (whom she meets online, of course), she frees herself from her email long enough to tumble through the city and back to his Brooklyn apartment. Like tech itself, the story moves quickly - to a denouement that is all too crushing and familiar in this age of perpetual upheaval.
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Funny and on point
- A. Ga