Friday, October 29, 2010

Little Box of Horrors?

Got a couple interesting replies to my iphone app announcement.

One was from a guy I had met in 2003. I’d forgotten all about him, and he isn’t on this mailing list, so he’d forgotten all about me.

He wrote to tell me that after his flirtations with Judaism in 2003 he got burned out, and moved to Bali, where he produces art and poetry.

But, he writes, “I'm in New York because my mom, z'l, passed away last week. I'm doing Kaddish for the shloshim and them back to Bali. She was a holocaust survivor and inspirational woman. Nu, what's happened to you in the past 8 years besides the gevaldik iPhone app?”

First question of the day – we can understand why he went back to NY for the funeral. But why is he staying there? Why not do the Kaddish and shloshim back in Bali?

This week, Baltimore’s Jewish community hosted a man named Phil Rosenthal.

Phil has a very difficult job: to teach parents and teachers what they don’t know about their kids.

Specifically, he focused on “technologies” – computers and smart phones. These things have infiltrated our lives so quickly that we haven’t really integrated them into our values-system.

Therefore, they are thrusting into our living rooms and pockets the values of those who control the technology.

Most new phones and every ipod touch (and it goes without saying a computer) comes with the ability to surf the web, and if you don’t disable that feature, you’re giving that child the keys to a candy store.

You’re giving yourself the keys to a candy store.

So this leads to my first question: Do you agree that something’s wrong here, that we (many of us) have had our souls over-saturated with not only the best but also the worst of the Web?

My second question is, to the extent that this is true, what’s the antidote?

Probably can’t get rid of it like a TV. It’s getting harder and harder to do certain things without the Web.

So how do you create the right balance for yourself, and how should adults teach kids the right balance?

(As you know, the purpose of this blog is to give you food-for-talk at your Friday night dinner table, i.e., questions, not answers. In this case, I think the answers are obvious, but perhaps not. If you’d like to dialog on this, send me your answers and Ill send you mine.... Hint – it has something to do with roll-modeling.... )

Shabbat Shalom

PS – Here’s Phil’s website:


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