Tag Archives: intimacy

A Place for Intimacy in Cyberspace

image Cooking together, funny notes, holding hands — ‘thumb kiss’? According to an article by Ben Hammersley from the Guardian, “the next generation will find this sort of ambient intimacy [such as thumb kissing], just as natural as holding hands” and we can’t say viagra vs levitra vs cialis vs staxyn we disagree. Continue reading

Modern Intimacy: Thinking About Sex

image At some point in life– usually in the

middle of our teenage years– we end up learning from our friends or our parents about the birds and the bees. But what happens to us when we’re adults? In his recent book How to Think More About Sex, pop culture philosopher Alain de Botton takes on the philosophical aspects of sex, desire, and intimacy. While sex is most definitely in the book’s title, there are no awkward diagrams to be found. Instead, in his usual wry, witty and provocative style, de Botton takes on the philosophical aspects of one of our most intimate acts, arguing that, “We don’t think too much about sex; we’re merely thinking about it the wrong way.” Continue reading

Does the Internet enable intimacy?

“Yes, “ according to Stefana Broadbent, a cognitive scientist and professor of Digital Anthropology at the University College of London. In a popular TED talk, she explores how people use technology to break down the institutional barriers of school, work, and community that attempt to curb personal communication in daily life. Is our day-to-day technology use improving our relationships with others? And in the age of social media, are we using our networks to communicate with as many people as possible?

“Does the Internet Enable Intimacy?” a TED talk by Stefana Broadbent really, Broadbent discovered: the average person is in regular contact with just 5-7 people. After studying the communication habits of hundreds of people, she found that:

  • the average Facebook user has 120 friends, but engages regularly with only 4-6 people,
  • users of instant messaging average about 100 contacts, but chat with just 2-4 of them,
  • Skype users tend to communicate regularly with 2 contacts,
  • people are using video communications to spend time with faraway loved ones.

“When given the possibility,” she writes, “ most people want to be able to keep in touch with their personal social sphere whenever they want or feel the need for it.” Alternately, people are willing to text under the table and otherwise circumvent policies in schools and in the workplace for a few precious words with a loved one or their partners. In fact, she notes in the TED talk, a Pew Research Center study found 50% of email access, 75% of phone calls and 100% of text messages sent and received in the workplace are personal communications with partners, spouses, or family members.

“SMS is to tell you I miss you, email is to organize our dinner, voice is to say I’m late, and IM is to continue our conversation,” says Broadbent. And as smartphones and tablet devices become more accessible than ever to the average person, it’s no surprise to see that chat apps like WhatsApp, iMessage and Kik have surpassed the use of text messaging in daily communication. Social media networks are also used to specialize social contact: we use Facebook to connect with the wider world , networks like Path to connect with a small circle of friends, and apps like Couple to stay in close contact with a partner.

Though technology allows us to keep in touch with more people in more ways than ever, what’s most important is close, frequent contact with those who matter to us the most. As we increase the number of tools we use with our loved ones, however, it is almost impossible to create a complete record of the communication we have with one person, a problem we’ve set out to solve by building a private place for all of your most intimate exchanges with the person you love the most.