What we lost with the gray shades are the opportunities to define relationships in ways that serve us. Instead there is only one relationship – the coupled one. And we’re either in it or not. Zero or one, actually, being single would be zero… If we would go beyond this reduction, all sorts of opportunities would open up. We could deepen our friendships by acknowledging the intimacy that happens (no, intimacy does not equal sexual expression…). We could be coupled with someone and not live together. Our relationships would be as diverse and complex as we are. Maybe this would also lessen the stress on a coupled relationship and reduce the anxiety around being single. Because we could find and give support in all of our relationships – none of them would be “just friendships.”
Whether Rushkoff is correct with his claim of causality around the digital having entered our minds, moving beyond seeing things as either-or options can open us up to possibilities that we haven’t imagined before. Any relationship would be up to the people involved to define and to live. Just imagining such a world, i am filled with joy from the sense of freedom this gives me!