Are we still able to consider the thing itself?
I lived without my smartphone for three days for a university course. Living without a phone is to live differently. It is a bit bizarre we have not invented a new word for the phone yet. Life companion or life organizer seems to be a more apt description. Perhaps we still cling to this word in order to trick ourselves to think we are not as reliant on it. I can live without a phone we like to think, perhaps we can but can others live without us having one?