While the photo is obviously faked and Smith's bill will likely not even be voted on ("He's the conductor of his own crazy train," one of his colleagues told Fox News), it is characteristic of how the Internet makes it possible to translate a passing thought into an actual image, which will inevitably be seen by someone who takes offense. We have control over this process when these images pop up in our daily thought stream where we can evaluate whether to share or not based on company and circumstances. The Internet encourages us to share irrespective of company and circumstances, making everything available to everyone at all times, and in doing so it becomes a place where friends can meet and where they can also become enemies or become victims all at the same time.

In that way, Minus seems like a highly volatile platform, one that opens access to strangers with few limitations. Whether intentional or not, there is something sexually suggestive about the app, with its screenshots featuring young attractive women and only one or two men mixed in. Using the app in Manhattan I found the opposite to be true, with male users outnumbering women by nearly ten to one. This might have been predictable too, as it too often seems men are far more likely to rush into the sheltering arms of technology to express their social curiosity. A recent survey in Psychology Today found that more than 85% of people who posted on Craigslist Casual Encounters were men (59% m4w and 27% m4m).

Technology can offer solutions to social problems, but it also shows us social problems are subject to interpretation, and often those first addressed by technology are the ones most connected to the people driving the technology. Which is how we arrive at the strange point where we require a machine to say hello to one another, primarily intended for people who fear there is something taboo about their desires to say hello in the first place.

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