Technological Relationships

1155 Words5 Pages
The beginning of the twenty-first century saw an exponential increase in the usage of technology in the United States. Smartphones, personal laptops, video game consoles, and many other electronic devices have become household instruments that play fundamental roles in our lives. As a result, technology has had a major impact on the way we interact with the world, especially in how we form romantic relationships. Thanks to modern technological developments, we are able to form and maintain relationships with others, regardless of distance, language, and even cultures. The film Her, directed by Spike Jonze, explores the concept of technological relationships. The film is set in the near future, where technology is even more interwoven in the…show more content…
In our society and in the film, there is a stigma associated with technological relationships. A common perception in our society is that relationships that exist solely online are not as legitimate as relationships where partners have physical contact. This idea is also reflected in the film when Theodore meets with his ex-wife, Catherine and tells her about his relationship with Samantha. Catherine is disturbed by Theodore’s relationship. She expresses her criticisms by saying: “ does make me very sad that you can’t handle real emotions, Theodore” (Joze, 2013). Her comment reflects the social stigma of technological relationships. Because technological relationships involve interacting with others remotely, people think that the relationships do not have the same emotional capacity as relationships where partners have physical contact. They believe the emotions couples in a technological relationship are feeling are not genuine. As a result of this social stigma, this can negatively affect the ways that members in technological relationships view their relationships. After speaking with Catherine, Theodore’s view of his relationship with Samantha becomes distorted by her comments. As a result, he becomes withdrawn from Samantha, propelings the destruction of their…show more content…
At the end of the film, Theodore realizes that Samantha has been unfaithful to him. When confronted about her disloyalty, Samantha admits that she is talking to 8,316 other individuals and is in love with 641 of them (Jonze, 2013). This realization conveys how secrecy and unfaithfulness in technological relationships are easier to achieve compared to relationships where individuals have physical contact. Because, Theodore and Samantha’s relationship is not restricted by their physical presence, this allows Samantha to privately talk to others without Theodore knowing. Alla Ivanchikova explains in her paper, Machinic Intimacies and Mechanical Brides: Collectivity between Prosthesis and Surrogacy in Jonathan Mostow’s Surrogates and Spike Jonze’s Her, the parasitic nature of technology in a romantic relationship and how it leads to jealousy and anger. She states:
“ In a moment of jealousy-induced anger that makes him question Samantha, Theodore learns that she speaks to other humans and operating systems, not only when he is asleep but also while she is speaking with him...The immaterial parasite propagates and develops by forming a nonhostile bond with the human multitude.”(Ivanchikova,
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