Love in the Time of Algorithms

Is Cybersex So Totally Over?

Like everything else, filthy letters are likely going mobile.
screen shot 2012 11 07 at 4 51 49 pm Is Cybersex So Totally Over?

Precipitous!

Whatever happened to make love, not war? Earlier today, Quartz’s Christopher Mims tweeted the chart above. It’s from the Google Ngram Viewer, which allows the curious and the data-devoted to track the occurrences of particular words or phrases in Google Books. And it seems to show that cybersex–once an Internet rite of passage–has taken a nosedive.

However, the results only go to 2008, which means they totally miss the rise of sexting. Why fire up AIM when one can send dirty missives via SMS? Why bother with a chat room while you could iMessage your undercarriage? Not to mention that no one has yet coined a phrase to describe the art of gChat sex, cybering’s more modern descendant.

It’s also worth remember that the dataset here is books, which probably aren’t the most reliable mirror of humanity’s digital mating habits.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com