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Dispatches from women on the edge. 
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We can tell our future children that we met through an algorithm, but whose fault is it when the devices that promise true love, world peace, and magic fail? Technology alone is not to blame. Our self-defeating impulses are a built-in feature, and yet, we still keep reaching our hands out, willing to take a chance and reveal ourselves with a selfie, text, sext, or swipe—because that’s the joy and risk with making connections—people surprise us, they always do. Our pieces this week take on a personal bent because how could they not?
New Phone, Who Dis?
By Frida Oskarsdottir
Snapshots of a life as told through clunky, beloved phones.
I'm a 30-year-old woman who isn't looking for love. This is not quite a response to, but inspired by, Becca Rothfeld’s essay “Ladies in Waiting.”
 
The summer I turned 25, I gained a firsthand education into personal and anonymous cyberstalking after being featured in a Breitbart article. 
By Gabrielle Sierra
A lone whiner dives into a sea of selfie-enthusiasts to explore the world of solo photos.
We asked you to share your deepest, darkest social media confessions with us; things that you have done and things that have been done to you. Here is a selection of some of the entries we received. Our biggest takeaway? We are not alone. 
Reading: “Ladies in Waiting" by Becca Rothfeld for The Hedgehog Review
If you have gone crazy waiting for a partner’s text, then you are one of Becca Rothfeld’s “Ladies in Waiting.” After reading about the lover’s fatal identity—“I am the one who waits”—we felt exposed, our anxieties around online relationships laid bare. Rothfeld uses the stories of Penelope in the “Odyssey,” the masochistic protagonist in “Secretary,” women who pray in wait for God, and her own experience with being ghosted to explain the agonizing endurance of waiting for a man who never calls: “The gendered distribution of waiting assumes a hierarchy of time and activity in which men set the terms and fix the schedules. To be waited for is to assert the importance of one’s time; to wait is to occupy a position of eternal readiness in which one can be called on at male convenience.” Yikes, we have been seen.

Reading: “All My Exes Live in Texts” by Maureen O’Connor for New York Magazine
“Even casual dates have expansive biographies to plow through and life narratives you can follow for years. You hear about their hangovers when you check Twitter for the morning news. You see their new apartments when you browse Facebook at work. They can jump into your pants whenever they want by sending text messages that land in your pocket. Online, you watch your exes’ lives unfold parallel to yours—living, shifting digital portraits of roads not taken with partners you did not keep.” A luminous read on ghosts of relationships past haunting your feeds, which unfortunately doesn’t fully answer the question, “who arranges a booty call by e-mail?” Please don’t @ us, New York Magazine!

Listening: “Cut Loose: Your Breakup Stories” from WNYC’s Death, Sex and Money
Anna Sale’s unique ability to tease the most intimate reactions to life’s most sensitive situations makes Death, Sex, and Money an invaluable addition to your listening queue. This week’s episode cuts extra deep, detailing breaking up with a best friend to betrayal after decades of marriage, and the most final of separations: death. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

INFORMANT: Well, I had insomnia. I used to phone up all the gay bars, just to hear them answer the phone… Just to hear the noise, oh yes.
INTERVIEWER: So you would call and just be on the phone?
INFORMANT: No, I would just hear the noise and the laughter in the background. I just wanted to be there.
INTERVIEWER: …it helped you just to know it was out there? (Pause)
INTERVIEWER: …that’s a really special story.
INFORMANT: Yeah, oh God.

-"Baby, You are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall” by Marie Cartier

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