Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Phone Fetish

The relationship between technology and physicality that Anne talks about below manifests itself in some weird ways in the Rafael article. In particular, I was struck by the extent to which he portrays the cell-phone as a fetishized object without really unpacking this in any kind of Freudian / Marxist sense. He describes how, "in certain cases, the hand takes the place of the mouth, the fingers that of the tongue." Adding that, in reference to txting style, "Some use their index fingers, some one thumb, others both. . . . [Others] tap away with one hand without even looking at [their] phone." This emphasis on physical touch, the micro-level at which people interact with their cell phones posits the phone as a fetish object--since txting isnt really a substitute for speaking so much as it is writing (i guess it does replace voice-communication, but is clearly far more comparable to a written missive than a phone call), its a little strange that the fingers should take the place of the tongue as opposed to, say, the pen. Linking the fingers and tongue in this way screams of some kind of Freudian subtext- clearly not the point of Rafael's article, but something that I think merits comment.

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