This short essay considers the possibilities of three kinds of differences for studies of technology, particularly for productively engaging across disciplines and project-ing towards future technology design. 1 This distinct perspective confronts the sense of common humanness that is often created through human rights discourse (Montoya 2012) and the discourse of global threats (Miller 2004), discourses that are often produced and engaged in by elites. This essay considers instead that as contemporary, globalizing technologies such as the mobile phone travel across national borders they are productive less of a sense of ‘common humanness’, than situated at the edge of confronting and negotiating cultural differences. Studying such technologies through, for example, focusing on common experience, shared being and action in-the-world (Dourish 2001), might embrace a sense of ‘common humaneness’ but can also easily become a means of reducing and generalizing differences that persist across various kinds of borders. In this essay I consider the importance of understanding differences within and between studies of technology by reflecting on and re-examining an ethnographic study of the use of photographs in South West China.