Phillip Thompson

Crime Fiction writer

OK, I admit, the headline “iBone” got my attention immediately. In the latest issue of GQ (which I read as my only remaining magazine subscription), Marshall Sela writes about what could be the latest rage in apps – or the worst idea for getting sex in a long time. It’s a GPS-based app called “Blendr,” which is based on aprevious app called “Grindr,” which has been used for a while now by gay men looking for a quick and as-close-to-anonymous-as-you-can-get-without-actually-being-anonymous sexual encounter.

You can read the whole, um, piece here.

But what really caught my eye in Sela’s story wasn’t so much the prurient nature of such drive-by sexual adventures as it was the evolution of basic human nature in the face of modern technology (which, ostensibly, is supposed to bring us together and make the world a smaller community while opening the doors to countless opportunities to all). Here’s what he had to say:

“Contrary to the plan, technology has limited our choices. When you check boxes that define your preference in a date – say, Latina, between 24 and 27, loves birds, is a Unitarian, oh, and should also have hazel eyes – you’re narrowing your world quite a bit there. We no longer ‘happen across’ anything: we Google. We don’t flip through TV channels; we look atthe cable menu and choose by title – or watch things you’ve chosen in advance, then recorded. Don’t answer the phone without that caller ID. Don’t bother listening to that whole CD – you want to hear that one song you already like. In every corner of this newest of worlds, very little happens that isn’t planned out. Technology has trumped serendipity.”

Well put. If you’re one of those people who think “spontaneity”is putting your iPod on shuffle, this should be food for thought.

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