Book Review

How do we know we’re doing it right? 

review by Liz Benson

With so many competing influences and priorities in life, keeping up with everything we think we’re supposed to do can become overwhelming. Anxieties about whether we’re dressed right, or eating well enough, or working hard enough, or getting in touch with our authentic selves can all culminate in a general sense of exhaustion.  

Pandora Sykes explores these issues in her collection of essays on modern life, titled How do we know we’re doing it right?  

The essays are full of relatable anecdotes and a take on modern life that’s refreshingly devoid of pretence. At its core, this book is about how to put aside the pressures of modern life and simply do what’s right for you.  

Quote from the book: 

“The internet has created a strict line between these selves, where we understand our extrinsic self to be one crouching inside our smartphone and our intrinsic self to be hiding at home on the sofa. But it is not enough to have these separate selves; it is inauthentic to present one self online and another at home. And so we attempt to break down these boundaries through endless sharing, turning ourselves inside out for the consumption of others.” 

How do we know we’re doing it right? Essays on modern life
Pandora Sykes
Published: 2020