HOW BLACKBERRIES AND I PADS CHANGED INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

  • 15 June 2018
  • jewishfamily

I for one do not have a blackberry or an I  pad.  I simply have no patience or 
desire for such gadgets. I feel that people become slaves to these things. They 
do have a purpose. I can definitely see the use for storing information and 
contacting people when necessary. But I also feel that these technological 
“advancements”are destroying normal human interaction. I don’t know how you 
feel, but I personally feel slighted when I meet a friend, am in the middle of 
conversing and she suddenly gives me that look with the eyes that means “hold on 
a sec” and she proceeds to launch into a lengthy communication with someone on 
blackberry, laughing and seeming very amused, totally forgetting that I even 
exist or that we were in the midst of talking!  
To me this is totally against proper human interaction. Why should the other person calling get your  attention simply because they text you? Cant they wait? Why is it the human  being standing in front of you becomes worthless in your eyes when the  “blackberry” friend calls? Why do we feel that we must answer the caller but the  friend in person can be ignored, slighted or “put on hold”?  
I see people standing in stores, in banks, sitting in cars….everywhere 
you go they are “busy” on their gadgets, oblivious to life around them. And this 
is what our children are growing up to see. This has become the new social norm, 
the new way of “interacting”. But is it interacting? Or is it teaching us to get 
into ourselves more, to delve into ourselves and ignore the world around us? 
Perhaps it is a way of escaping from the stressful world around us. Or perhaps 
it brings a sense of security in a world that bombards us and frightens us and 
makes us feel lonely? 
However, I still do not want the blackberry or the I pad. I do  confess to using skype at times and even that I consider a waste of time but it  helps me keep connected to my children and grandchildren in different corners of  the world. I think facebook has its advantages in the sense of keeping families  connected….but it also has its huge pitfalls, displaying private lives of people  to others, bringing jealousy, ayin hara and all kinds of negativity. Facebook  also is a social network but these social networks could connect you with people that may OR MAY NOT not be beneficial for you or your family. And what do you really gain?  I think people have lost their priorities in life. And we are giving our  children a wrong sense of priority. We have lost the true socializing and family  oriented lives that people should have. We have allowed technology to take over our family and social lives. 
  Sephardim typically have very social lives: they are very  together, constantly at family gatherings, constantly getting together for  Shabbat and yom tovim. This is how life should be. But America encourages  separation , divisiveness. So the only connection many people feel is through  their blackberries and I pads, but is that reality? Is that life?? Is that what  we want our children to see? That is a lonely life which is trying to be compensated for through technological devices.
Baruch Hashem for Shabbat! We cant use those  devices then. We have to reconnect with our families and friends in a real way.  On Shabbat when I meet you in the street you have to look me in the eyes and  speak to me, you cant look down at your blackberry and ignore me…on Shabbat you  have to become truthful to yourself and to others….G-d in His inifinite wisdom  gave us the Shabbat to guard and just as much as we guard Shabbat, Shabbat  guards us. That is what we want our children to see and experience.