HOW BLACKBERRIES AND I PADS CHANGED INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
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.