Where do I get one of these new-fangled cellular telephones with the sexting?

Oh David Brooks, you are a funny old coot.

Basically, the cellphone and the texting, as the kids call it, are the demise of love and poetry and possibly Bruce Springsteen. Which I guess would explain why I haven’t had a date in a while.

It does not, however, explain why my life doesn’t look like a New York Magazine sex diary. I feel very excluded from this “instantaneous, frictionless sphere separated from larger social institutions and commitments” with which David “Get Offa My Lawn!” Brooks is so familiar. Sure, I suppose I feel the romantic disenchantment of the new technological era — watching ex boyfriends get increasingly less attractive on facebook takes all the satisfaction out of seeing their degeneration in person for the first time — but where are my multiple sex conquests on speed dial? Where is my blizzard of sexual supply and demand, my universe of potential partners? How do I get to this eBay auction of erotica?

Hmmm. Mysterious. At least I retain my coat of ironic detachment.

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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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8 Responses to Where do I get one of these new-fangled cellular telephones with the sexting?

  1. beth says:

    I hate the word sexting. With a passion. Seriously, what middle-aged conservative guy came up with that term?

    All this technology does lead to such debauchery. I mean if it weren’t for the internet and cellphones i’d have broken up with my current long-distance partner, who i do send these sexual messages to sometimes, and would be busy having ‘real’ sex with someone else. Oh, wait..

    But yes, one must use ones cellphone to contact everyone for the rainbow parties!

  2. Thomas says:

    Yet another reason I detest Brooksie. I could say more, but … what is there to say about yet another cultural conservative edition of the same old thing?

    Kids these days …
    Back in my day …
    And these newfangled …
    End of civilization!!!

    Rinse. Repeat.

  3. William says:

    What really strikes me about cultural conservatives is how thinly their jealousy is veiled. Brooks isn’t appalled that kids these days are looking at each other’s junk and talking dirty, they’ve been doing that since he had his first kiss in the shadow of the Hanging Gardens, he’s pissed that he didn’t have the same level of freedom in his youth. If you read his regular tirades the uniting theme is that things are just too easy for people these days. And, if you’re sufficiently analytic, that he isn’t one of the people getting whatever lusts lurk in the back of his mind satisfied so easily.

  4. Courtney L says:

    I was struck by the nostalgia for the social constraints of the so-called “Happy Days” in the original article. Brooks repeatedly states that young people now have no constraints, no social etiquette and no “scripts” for courtship. I think he is dead wrong–there are plenty of social guidelines today. The difference is that many people are rejecting social constraints established by the previous generation, choosing instead to invent their own. What he is really complaining about is the lack of control the overculture has on the individual these days, and I can’t bring myself to see that as a bad thing.

  5. William says:

    But Courtney, thats the thing about the particular brand of conservatism Brooks represents. Its all about control of the individual in the service to the overculture. Sex exists to produce children and raise the next generation, courtship rules exist to maintain the power structure that is good and moral. All human beings are valuable only in what they can contribute to the greater society; they are either misguided or evil if they will to pursue their own wants. Its communism with morality as the central theme instead of labor.

  6. snowmentality says:

    “Potential partners generally met within the context of larger social institutions: neighborhoods, schools, workplaces and families.”

    I’d bet a lot of money that’s still how the vast majority of people meet potential partners. And what about all the people who met online, and then married? Brooks seems to think that everyone who meets potential partners online is looking for NSA sex.

    “The opportunity to contact many people at once seems to encourage compartmentalization, as people try to establish different kinds of romantic attachments with different people at the same time.”

    Non-exclusive dating is brand new since the invention of texting? Or is it just that now, women are more likely to do it too, and that upsets him?

  7. That is the best blog post title in ages.

    watching ex boyfriends get increasingly less attractive on facebook takes all the satisfaction out of seeing their degeneration in person for the first time

    Wait until you get older. Try ex girlfriend with kids in their Facebook photos. Another way to read it is we spend too much time on Facebook. Hey, someone has to play Mafia Wars.

  8. prairielily says:

    Jill… it’s like all the articles about teens and their crazy sex lives. I remember you posting about how you mostly just felt awkward and shy as a teen, just like the vast majority of teenagers. No rainbow parties, no sexting, no sex-act-representing rubber bracelets… just that feeling of paralysis about seeming uncool in front of the cute guy from Physics.

    I mean, people are still people, and it’s unfair to define anyone by the supposed behaviour of their generation or age group. It takes away any individuality from members of that group. Of course, that’s the intention, isn’t it? Young people are not people! Gay people are not people! People of colour are not people! Women are not people! They are moral inferiors who are destroying society!

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