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In Practice

In sociologist Emelie Durkheim’s perspective, a malnourished public sphere deprives individuals of real social connections. In the face of this Anomie, the cell phone allows an organic social network. Through the subject and the technology combined, the subject can become an Actor on the larger Actor Network. If the human spends time in a non-place, then the addition of a non-place accessed through the telephone tears through the solitary contractility characterized by the non-place. Both the place and the non-place can exist at once, because in the supermodern perspective all dichotomies blur into one another. “What emerges from the fading social norms is naked, frightened, aggressive ego in search of love and help. The isolated human in the non-place seeks to reconnect with those in proximity, but cannot.

In the search for itself and an affectionate sociality, it easily gets lost in the jungle of the self...Someone who is poking around in the fog of his of his or her own self is no longer capable of noticing that this isolation, this (as Ulrich Beck writes) "solitary-confinement of the ego’ is a mass sentence, that millions of people...are also pacing the prison cells of the self” (Beck, 40).

There is a transition from the world of forward-focused isolation --- TV, one way signals to a world of interactivity. The cell phone is used as a substitute for interaction, but the cellphone user really wishes for face-to-face interaction over virtual interaction, and thus manages face to feign importance.

Anomie in the hyperconnected world can often be deadly, as the annihilation of geography tends to isolate the individual further than ever possible before. A social network with a high potential of connectivity does not automatically guarantee it.

All life is mystery meat navigation. All clicks unwrap presents. We can’t see what is on the other side, but we want to get there. We are great unknowing youth. If we really knew what was on the other side we would never consume or love like we do. We would despair. Instead, we are kings, kings that reign for only a little while before being enslaved and tortured to death by endlines, airport travel, traffic jams, physical and mental isolation, elevator music, and boring architecture. The only way out of this isolation is through reconnecting to culture and community via the iPod, the text message, or the phone call. There is no limitless value, or imfinite reproducibility of objects, but rather a limited sipply of connectivity. Being connected is a luxury.