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We are talking, laughing, nodding, pitching in to a communal hum. All of us. Together. Endorphins are being released with each I know what you mean, and this one time, and that's so crazy! Then it happens; one of us looks at her phone, begins clicking. One by one, our heads drop. Silence looms, and we are gone.

In real life, people can be tricky. Real people have opinions and lives, they interrupt and lose interest. But out there, in the electronic realm, everything is easy. Peering into our phones is like peering over the edge of the Grand Canyon -- it is vast and infinite and full of possibility. We stare at it and stare at it, transfixed. As if the thing we are looking at might magically fix everything. As if the answers were out there, and not right here, in the room.



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