We have long anthropomorphized objects around us, but cheap, readily available, and easy to use technologies such as Arduino chips, coupled with ubiquitious network connectivity, make our objects seem not merely sentient but social. Botanicalls, for example, sells a sub-$100 kit that monitors soil moisture, plaintively tweeting its status.
As the moisture level drops, pothos's messages become more plaintive, drawing everyone who follows the plant's Twitter feed into a series of tiny dramas. Will our clothes call us to their embrace (Mueller, n.d.)? Will books ask us to read them?