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Unfriending My Ex: And Other Things I'll Never Do Hardcover – June 24, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Reading Kim Stolz’s riveting, haunting Unfriending My Ex, I found myself wondering, why did it take until 2014 – this many years into the technological revolution - for someone to write a book like this?” (Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Hours" and "The Snow Queen")

“The cliche holds that anyone south of 30 years old is enriched by digital devices, and happily spends their waking hours on Facebook and Twitter, expanding their network, becoming empowered as writers and thinkers, achieving fame, overthrowing corrupt governments. In this reader-friendly and cogently argued book, Kim Stolz shares another story -- of her digital addiction and how it enslaved her, fraying friendships, and attention spans, and making her and members of her generation less, not more, connected. Unfriending My Ex is a punch in the nose, meant not to knock out technology, but to jolt us to seek more balance in our lives. Because it is so personally honest, it will rivet your attention.” (Ken Auletta, author of Googled)

“Kim Stolz has written an exciting book about love and life in the era of the iPhone. Whether you're addicted to technology or totally anti-social media, she captures the reality of living a sexy, busy, buzzy life today. She's the ultimate cool chick, an authentic artist, and a natural born writer.” (Alyssa Shelasky, author of "Apron Anxiety")

“Stolz explores a topic so current and impactful that I only checked my Twitter and Instagram twice while reading it!” (Caprice Crane, international best-selling author of "Stupid and Contagious" and "Confessions of a Hater")

“I remain hopeful that despite current trends, self-awareness and genuine human connection are achievable among the ‘me’ generation. Kim Stolz’s Unfriending My Ex serves as an entertaining and much needed reminder that we can live without our phones (temporarily) and that being able to laugh at yourself and learn from your mistakes is crucial if you plan to thrive in this digitally connected, fast-paced society.” (Yaniv “Nev” Schulman, host of MTV’s "Catfish")

"As a self-confessed Web-aholic I am well aware that social networks have preyed upon humanity's innate need to connect, and the result is nothing short of a planetary epidemic of info-addiction. We are not only content to live in the Matrix but are increasingly driven to be a cognitive cog in its functionality. Kim Stolz has the mind of a scientist in the body of Millennial. Her experiences on reality television and MTV have made her something of a Jane Goodall of digital culture: she lives among them, ever observant, to catalog and understand their behavior patterns while attempting to determine the landscape of Mankind's future. On its present course, the signs seem to indicate 'not great.'" (Chris Hardwick, host of Comedy Central's "@midnight" and author of "The Nerdist Way")

“From reality show contestant to MTVU VJ to MTV News correspondent to blogger and tireless tweeter, Kim has been at the nexus of all the tech and cultural, um, ‘advances’ that make the 21st century so unique. I’ve always known her to have a keen sense of what makes her generation tick – the good, the bad, and the sometimes kinda ugly. Our endlessly opinionated, notoriety-seeking, web connected world. It’s hard to remember when it wasn’t this way. How did we get here – and where are we headed? Kim Stolz tackles it all in Unfriending My Ex.” (Ruby Rose, TV Personality, MTV VJ)

“In Unfriending My Ex, Kim Stolz gives us a clear-eyed, exceptionally intelligent look at a phenomenon at once mystifying and unavoidable. The thrall in which social media holds us feels so enchanting, we may be losing control of the most valuable parts of our lives to it. The author, while respectful of both progress and of her generation, seeks to restore that control. Here is the work of a grown-up young woman, hip enough to live successfully in the world as it is, yet thoughtful enough to identify its follies and delusions. If our times may be defined by a smart phone, we should be grateful that Unfriending My Ex is a hell of a lot smarter.” (Roger Rosenblatt, author of Rules for Aging: A Wry and Witty Guide to Life)

"[A] lively memoir... [Stolz] investigates and considers the various effects of society’s (and particularly her generation’s) dependency upon technology, finding that texting and smartphones allow chatting without relationship-building, loneliness in spite of keeping in touch, and increased anxiety. (Publishers Weekly)

"[A] humorous take on how social networking has changed our society and on the pitfalls of obsessive connectivity." (Tampa Bay Times)

"[Stolz] takes a look at the effects of technology-induced ADD on the individual level, reminding readers of social media’s harms and hilarities alike...Hysterical and self-aware." (Out Magazine)

"In this candid and insightful new memoir, Kim Stolz discusses the trials and tribulations of our obsession with social media and mobile techology.... a Tweet-worthy, share-worthy, Instagramable look into our society and the lives we create online." (Harper's Bazaar)

About the Author

Kim Stolz is a former contest on America’s Next Top Model, MTV News anchor, and current director of equities derivative sales at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. She is a graduate of the Brearley School and Wesleyan University. In 2012, she was named one of the 100 most compelling People of the Year by Out magazine. She lives in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (June 24, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476761787
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476761787
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Former MTV News Correspondent and America's Next Top Model Contestant, Kim Stolz is VP of Equity Derivatives Sales at Citigroup. She is also a soon-to-be published author. Her first publication "Unfriending My Ex (And Other Things I'll Never Do", which explores the effects that social networking, smart phones and reality television have had on society and her generation, will be published in June 2014 by Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster. After graduating from Wesleyan University in 2005, she began working at MTV as a news anchor, interviewing a virtual who's who of public figures ranging from Jay-Z to Lady Gaga to President Barack Obama. In 2009, she moved on to write her first non-fiction work Unfriending My Ex and begin her career on Wall Street. She currently resides in New York City on the Upper East Side.

Customer Reviews

Perfect book for a long flight or beach day!
Sonia Spark
Reading Stolz is like watching a pattern emerge, not a narrative arc mature.
Kevin L. Nenstiel
Smart, funny and really makes you think about smartphones, social media.
elisatallerico

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Let me state upfront that I had never heard of Kim Stolz. Apparently she is a D list "celebrity" (former contestant on America's Next Top Model; former MTV news correspondent). What really caught my attention is that she nowadays is a "vice president of equity derivatives" at Citigroup. That seems so 180 degrees apart from her previous experiences that I was hoping the book would shed some light on how that turnaround came about.

"Unfriending My Ex And Other Things I'll Never Do" (202 pages) brings insights in today's widespread digital additions (Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.). In the book's opening chapter, Stolz relives how she took on a bold challenge: go without her smartphone and computer, and all the social media that come with it, for an entire WEEK, yes, seven days! Not surprisingly, Stolz laments that for the first time in forever, she had some much needed "me time", which she feels was sorely lacking before. Despite that, after that week, she goes back to carry on her digital life, although apparently she is trying to set some limits now. The author demonstrates how so many of the social media interactions create a Pavlov's dog reaction, and hence addiction, in the human brain. In subsequent chapters, Stolz brings multiple stories of how bad things can go when living life through social media.

Interestingly, LinkedIn (a/k/a "the Facebook for professionals") is not mentioned a single time. It happens to be the only "social media" (if you can call it that) that I participate in. Unfortunately the book does not give any insight on how Stolz became an equity derivative banker.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Kim Stolz moved from being a news anchor to the title of VP of Equity Derivatives Sales at Citigroup and transforming her journalistic techniques into writing a controversial whistle blower on the social media and technology. Since the majority of the citizens of this country are addicted to the various avenues of new communication that haunted Stolz, reading about the near disease state of this new technologically induced affliction will be uncomfortable.

But speed read through this book and for those who have refused to be sucked into spending hours each day on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked in, blogging, texting etc - putting dealing with devices both at the desk and hand held into perspective as robbing true communication between conversational adults - for those this book will bring a comfortable wink. Stolz takes us through the extremes of addiction to social media, internet dating, and just the obsession with checking email, Facebook postings, copious photos of what friends are eating or doing on vacation, etc and puts it into perspective. Yes, it is funny to read - unless you are hooked and can't admit it. Nice to see a book that discusses the adverse aspects of the subject! Grady Harp, July 14
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Nenstiel TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Confession time: when I agreed to review this book, I had no idea who Kim Stolz was. Born with the Happy Fetus Trifecta of money, beauty, and Manhattanite connections, she parlayed reality TV popularity into MTV "journalism" and a Citigroup vice presidency before turning thirty. Wowser. Pulling this book from the envelope, I immediately thought: humor memoir. The design mimics books by good-looking comediennes like Chelsea Handler and Mindy Kaling.

To her credit, Stolz has higher aspirations than her CV implies. In her first book, Stolz purposes to scrutinize the Millennial Generation's relationship with technology, embodied in her own iPhone, a relationship she variously describes as addiction, escape, and adultery. Stolz apparently considers herself typical of her generation, clothed in adulthood's trappings but suffering protracted adolescence. And she fears her generation has vanished down a digital rabbit hole.

I doubt it. Not the rabbit hole part, which is broadly debatable; but the typical part. Stolz describes herself undertaking a digital fast, forcing her to realize she spends four-and-a-half hours daily on her iPhone. Four-and-a-half hours. Daily. My factory colleagues, many with marriages and children and second jobs despite being markedly younger than Stolz, don't have such time. Stolz's entire foundation assumes time resources and money others lack.

Stolz describes an active life encompassing restaurants and parties and girlfriends and casting calls, an arriviste lifestyle inaccessible to the bottom four quintiles of American economics. Then she describes failing to enjoy her lifestyle because she can't stop checking her text messages and Facebook notifications. Everyone understands the rudeness of dinner companions checking their phones.
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Format: Hardcover
Unfriending My Ex is basically the book version of a Buzzfeed list - you read it to think "Ha ha - that is SO me!" and to further despise modern culture.

Yeah, it only "scratches the surface" of its subject, but what more do you want? The author's scientific sources seem like overkill as it is, and usually end up blandly explaining what most people will find obvious from the preceding anecdote from Kim or from their own experience.

And that's the thing - you already know all this stuff. The author is pretty comprehensive in her survey of social media and its effects, but it is nothing ground-breaking to anyone who has watched with despair as their date fires up Facebook at a restaurant.

I liked the book, though, and Amazon says liking it is four stars. The anecdotes were funny, after all, and she is right about the issues they highlight, even if Kim and her friends are slightly more neurotic than me and mine. She is also surprisingly honest, although, for example, there are multiple stories in which messaging an ex or potential cheating partner "started off innocently enough." Sure it did.
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