If you use social media at all, you should read The Boy Kings. Not because you’ll learn intriguing examples of how socially backward Facebook was in the early days, and not just because you’ll get a peek at what founder Mark Zuckerberg is like behind closed doors. The bigger meaning of the book is to make readers question their relationships with social media and how technologies such as Facebook affect personal interactions.
Author Katherine Losse is actually a Phoenix native. She holds a master’s degree in English from John Hopkins University and became employee number 51 at Facebook as a customer support representative. Her book tells the story of her journey from a grad school student to working her way on up in Facebook as part of the internationalization team, then as Zuckerberg’s ghostwriter, through to her eventual departure from the company. Peppered in-between tales from the office are vignettes about what it was like to party with Zuckerberg and crew, as well as insight into what kinds of people helped shape the world’s largest social network.
Losse’s intellectualism shines through in her writing, as she adds rich detail to the people and events mentioned. The Boy Kings isn’t simply a memoir — it reads like a novel, with wonderful character development and engaging action. And the fact that Losse is a huge music fan and integrates her musical tastes into her memories is a bonus for music lovers like me. It was a really fun, yet disturbing, read that I couldn’t put down.
I was lucky enough to interview Losse about the themes in the book, which she hopes prompt larger discussions on the role of technology in our lives and whether our reliance on it is beneficial or detrimental. Read the interview here, and for more info on the book, go here.