The History of Digital Desire, vol 1: An Introduction by Ellis Hanson

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The History of Digital Desire, vol. 1: An Introduction

In or about 1996, sex changed. For those with Internet access, it started going more or less digital. Increasingly, it is going more or less digi- tal whether you have Internet access or not and whether you like it or not. With the development of digital imaging, communication, data storage, and medical technology, there have been radical shifts in the way we experience, represent, and theorize about sexuality and desire. Members of generation Google, born digital, are coming of age now in an erotic terrain, online and off-, that was scarcely imaginable before they were born. I say this with a degree of irony, knowing full well that there is no such thing as the “great para- digm shift” that changes everything everywhere once and for all. Change happens in different places and at different speeds, and old paradigms reassert and reconfigure themselves long after their invention and alleged extinction. I speak of this paradigm shift knowing that currently only about a quarter of Americans go online daily, though the personal images and information of a great many more Americans also are accessed daily, whether those Americans know it or not; that the Google Generation may not be as sleuth- fully adept at Googling as was once believed; and that, with the world population around seven billion...

The rest of the article can be found in The South Atlantic Quarterly:

The South Atlantic Quarterly 110:3, Summer 2011

DOI 10.1215/00382876-1275743 © 2011 Duke University Press

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