Byung-Chul Han, in his recent work, Undinge, speaks about how children get stuffies as a sort of transitional object—it helps them feel safe until they are ready for the real world. They talk to the stuffy, play with it, hug it. It’s soft and they feel its softness.
The Smartphone, in contrast, has a hard surface, and so we feel our own presses. It presents to us what we want, when we want. It’s not a digital teddy bear that remains always the bear, not shifting with our whims. The smart does though. Unlike the teddy whom we keep for years, we replace smartphones. There is no permenance.
[Read more…] about Byung-Chul Han: The Smartphone as a Digital Teddy Bear? And why the smartphone destroys empathy.