Note — Mar 28, 2021

Delinquent Telephone Activity

Another piece I greatly enjoyed this week, this one by Rachel Coldicutt provides a nice useful overlap to the essay above, as well as the solid trend we’ve seen in the last couple of years of “the dark forest,” this surge in popularity of smaller communities online, looking for more private connexions. Coldicutt brings a new perspective, advocating for the occupation of technology with love, re-appropriating online spaces, and creating more “scenes.” She goes back to the original intended use of the telephone, how women redirected that to social purposes, and how technologies developed and framed by men, are often used quite differently by women. Here of course, we can also include many minorities and (sorry) connect this to Gibson’s “the street finds its own use for things.”

There’s a discussion going on, which I’ve linked to before, that looks more like a nostalgia for the open web, blogs, and the internet as it was, but here I feel it’s not a looking back, but more a purposeful appropriation of unsatisfying technology.

What do I mean by occupying technology? I mean, roughly, bending it to our will; taking advantage of its adaptivity to do something different. […]

Counterpublics are spaces of circulation in which it is hoped that the poiesis of scenemaking will be transformative, not replicative merely. […]

Rather than sliding ever more apart on the shiny slipstream of algorithmically driven interfaces, we can come together, we can all choose instead to be warm, and messy, and bend technology to our will. Our delinquent telephone activity can help to shape the present and the future.