“Even casual users know how absurd and unrealistic social media can be—yet keep logging on day after day. Kelly Harms takes this dichotomy to new heights in a clever and unputdownable story of two women whose so-called online lives collide IRL. I laughed, I cried, I came away from the experience with a newfound appreciation for life—which is to say THE BRIGHT SIDE OF GOING DARK is everything I’d hope for in a Kelly Harms novel, and more. I loved every page.”
— Camille Pagán, bestselling author of I’m Fine and Neither Are You
The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab
Throw your phone over a cliff? Could you do it-go dark, for even a day? Read The Bright Side of Going Dark for insights into that odd, almost indescribable feeling of no social media feedback; no text, no GPS, Google; actually being without a phone for several days. (It’s rather mind boggling that we all used to live this way-well, those of a certain age, anyway.) This is a story of self-discovery without a device for support; rather, actually speaking face to face, having conversations via voice rather than text-and living in real life (IRL) Kelly Harms shares such insights into “going dark”, that one wonders, did she manage it, even for a few days? Readers will appreciate the candid conversations between sisters, mothers, complete strangers and of course, all the so called, “friends.”
Why are those ‘likes” and “loves” from followers so important? Kelly Harms finds the humor but also the serious consequences of not being truthful and sharing real feelings and fears, with those we love. And then there’s the whole “virtual life” some find so intriguing. Main characters: Mia- a social media “influencer” on Pictey with thousands of followers and sponsors, posts thirty/day; Paige-employed by Pictey as part of the Standards Enforcement /Quality Assurance Team whose job it is to flag “obscene, dangerous, inflammatory, cyber-bullying or any way humans are awful to each other;” and Jessica, Paige’s half sister, who has attempted suicide. Each young woman has much to learn-about living IRL and about each other. Every page is a gem.
The self-reflection and shared wisdom in this book will impact – daily- what readers think about when the phone is picked up to check FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter.
Here’s the IN REAL LIFE take-a-way: A Wish from Mia:
“Long quiet walks where the wind is your podcast. Lost wanderings where your instincts are your GPS. Peaceful early mornings where you have your nose in a cup of coffee instead of an email inbox. Yoga with a friend, not an app. Family time with no “shares” and lots of sharing. Mental selfies in the flat, calm reflection of a mountain lake. Sponsorships of children and animals. Quiet summer evenings where the stars are your backlight. A phone that’s used for calling someone you love. Friends, I wish you joy. I wish you airplane mode.”
Mia would make a great friend-now that she’s learned so much. There truly is a “Bright Side of Going Dark.” Read it, and then try it.