Tech is never simply technology. It never appears in the abstract, any more than the characters “H2O” appear anywhere on water. Tech is always specific. How old should someone be when they first have sex? How old before they get their first cell phone? This sequence unsettles us because it is hard to think about either inevitability. Sex and technology are instruments of desire, the objects and system of adult unfreedom. Children at play are so analog. Young is life before text. We clutched love letters, in the past, when we couldn’t clutch each other. Now our phones get warm and vibrate. Eventually, they die. As a proxy for a body, technology is never better than the next best thing. Too often, it’s the only one. Today the image of the beloved appears most against the canvas of the phone, carved into polymer, inscribed onto text messages, recorded in electronic memory. Our relationships with our phones are our relationships, most of the time.
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