Do you suffer from automobile face? What about airplane face? Or moving-picture face? These are just some examples from a strange historical pattern: For more than a century, people have claimed that new technologies are physically deforming our faces — and we still say it today. On this episode, we explore where this fear comes from, what it means, and what happens when the fear really does come true. Time to put on your podcast face!

EPISODE NOTES

“The Bicycle Face: Its Several Horrible Details Carefully Analyzed and Explained” (1896)

• “The Automobile Face” (1899)

• “Ping Pong Face” (1902)

• “Subway Face”: (1907)

• “Now the Aeroplane Face” (1908)

“Seeing Telephone” (1910)

“Moving Picture Face” (1915) 

“Women in England Fear Radio Face” (1925)

“Will Home Video Phones Catch On?” (1988)

The Jestons episode about videophone masks

“Smartphone Face” on Fox News (with Dr. Anthony Youn disminssing it)

About Faces: Physiognomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain by Sharrona Pearl

• Claiming the Bicycle: Women, Rhetoric, and Technology in Nineteenth-Century America by Sarah Hallenbeck

• Josh Lauer, associate professor of communications, University of New Hampshire

• Donna Halper, an associate professor of media studies, Lesley University

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