One of my memorable Facebook status updates went something like, “How long before newsreaders realize that we all know that the social networking website Twitter is a social networking website?” I got a lot of good feedback from that one, including someone I used to fancy prodding his thumb up at it. The day took on a subtle shine, and I kept returning to Facebook to check how my little aperçu was doing, like looking through the oven window at a rising cake. The news may now be on first-name terms with Twitter but, as I write, the same cannot yet be said for the private holiday rental platform Airbnb. When telling vacation stories, people will still say to me, “Do you know that thing … Airbnb? We used that.” However, Airbnb is poised for common parlance; it will no doubt soon lose the red, corrugated training wheels of Microsoft’s Spell Check. Airbnb is one of the increasing number of cyber-services that demands its users have fixed, 4D bodies—a chain-store identity. It is an apt illustration of how we are asked to materialize online as contained, knowable people, to enter into a community of fully realized digital subjects. We are… Read full this story
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