Ways a phone is like a dæmon

With apologies to Philip Pullman.

  • It’s an extension of me – my phone and I are part of the same entity that make up my thoughts/perspectives/habits
  • Despite the fact that it’s part of me, I can still “talk” to it (i.e. get new insights and perspectives from it through interacting with it)- it’s a part of my soul, but separate enough for that
  • Everyone has one that is close by them at all times, and our structures are now built to accommodate them (charging ports at malls! QR code menus at restaurants!)
  • If mine is more than 6 ft away from me I get separation anxiety
  • If I am to be permanently separated from a smartphone I will probably end up catatonic with depression for life (this one is maybe a joek)
  • I can talk to another person in person, and I can use my phone to communicate to their phone, but using another person’s phone seems viscerally wrong/taboo – I would never pick up a random phone and start playing around with it at a party. Strange phones emit a strong Do Not Touch field. I would even hesitate to move a strange phone from a couch to a table to sit on the couch.
  • It feels slightly less wrong when it’s a close friend or lover, but it still feels like an invasion of privacy (touching another person’s daemon is reserved for basically only immediate family and lovers, and even so, very rarely)
  • One wrong interaction with someone else’s phone can destroy your relationship with them entirely
  • I did the most intimate thing I could do with my girlfriend recently – we exchanged phone PINs, and all our login info for all of our accounts. We now own a piece of each other’s souls.

Thoughts brought to you by the fact that a close friend of mine borrowed my phone to call their grandma 2 weeks ago since their phone died; I felt many unexpectedly strong emotions about this.

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