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Are Smartphones Emasculating After All? (slate.com)
32 points by titlex 1430 days ago | hide | past | web | 24 comments | favorite



I wondered how people could miss Sergey's point. Looking down at your phone breaks eye contact, and puts you in a subservient (bowing) position.


This is an interesting perspective. I always thought smartphones emasculated the other parties in the conversation, as in "I'm playing with my phone because I don't think you're as important as what's on this screen."


Probably because "emasculate" is overloaded with gender meaning.


Possibly. But "emasculation" doesn't mean "feminization". And I felt like the people most likely to be pick up on gender meaning would also be the most likely to understand that.


This thought is an overestimation most people's relationship with gender issues. The level above "ignorant apathy" is "battle of the sexes", which is where most gender-activistish people are. Thoughtful reflection is rarified air.


This is also a serious downside with FaceTime or Skype on a mobile. You are always looking down at the device and that is seldom a flattering look, double chins etc. I have heard this from numerous people as a reason they don't like video calls.


Seriously, I hate video calls generally... frankly, even if you're not looking down, they're rarely flattering, and in many cases people look downright dreadful. I don't want to stare at someone's ugly mug for 30 minutes when I could just be having a nice conversation (and it's not like I can really look away, because they'll notice).

Not to mention the reverse: with video, all of a sudden, I have to care how I look, what I'm wearing, what's visible in the background, etc. Gah, what a pain.

So while there are definitely positive aspects to video calls, and it's great that they're an option, no way should they be the default, either technically (the default state of the app) or "societally" (i.e., what people expect, with audio-only being taken as a sign of something suspicious).

One reason I don't use Google hangouts more often is simply that: it defaults to video, and requires specific action to turn that off. Don't do that shit.


If that's all it takes to put someone in a subservient or submissive position, there is not a posture in the universe that will fix it.

I'm not saying definitively that it's pseudo-science, but it does quack a lot like it.


It's hard (not impossible, but hard) to feel superior to the person you're talking to while you're bowed over. That's why bowing is universally a sign of submission.


I think "position" was meant more literally.


I read this as "Emacsulating" and was disappointed to find I had misread it.


A million readers just staightened their backs and puffed their chests.


After a session at the gym, doing chest, I walk out feeling awesome. I always thought it was the actual workout. Now it struck me, it could just be the stance.


Or it could be the workout.


It's largely the workout.

Chest workouts use pushing movements, which encourage you to round your shoulders forward. Pulling movements, such as pullups or deadlifts encourage you to bring your shoulders back.


"I’ve written before on the Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy and power poses—I’ve even tried them out, at some cost to my dignity but gain to my dry-cleaning pickup skills."

So dignity is just for the masculine? It's not masculine to pick up dry cleaning? Is this what the tech community needs? More gender stratification? This is a disgusting article that makes nobody look good.


The article doesn't equate those "power poses" with masculinity, just testosterone (and it's the professor who claims this, not the author).


It's the use of the word "dignity" that upset me. Dignity is a dangerous word to use in an article full of gendered euphemisms.


I think you misread that statement. She's saying that by doing the power pose, she felt ridiculous (lost her dignity) but was able to convince the cleaners to get her blouse done faster.


If you actually read the article linked in the sentence you posted, by the same author no less, you'll see that her statement has literally nothing to do with dignity being just for the masculine, or picking up dry cleaning not being masculine. Furthermore this is a general audience article in Slate - not exactly the "tech community". Everyone uses smartphones these days (for a suitable definition of everyone).


jedanbik, it sounds like they're becoming more successful at dry-cleaning pickup by their "power poses". It reads to me like there's a joke about having a difficult time picking up dry-cleaning.


It is an odd sentiment. She thought the "power poses" were undignified!


If smartphones are emasculating, then Google Glass is dehumanizing.


I can't decide whether it's better in this case to cite Betteridge's Law or try to devise some new law for headlines best answered with "unask the question before you hurt someone with it."

Or with "who gives a fuck." No, I've got it: if anyone asks whether something is emasculating, the correct answer is "who gives a fuck." misuba's law. You're welcome.




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