Monday, October 20, 2008

Cell phones and the family

A few weeks ago I was at a shuir and a Rabbi was telling us how cell phones and modern technology are a cause of divorce. He said that all those new advances in technology are "more interesting than a spouse" and leads a married person into feeling as if they're in competition with an electronic device, which leads them to eventually ask for a divorce when they are really fed-up.

The shuir didn't really rile me up. I am so used to the Rebbeim blaming modern technology for everything that this particular shuir didn't move me, after-all, why shouldn't technology be a cause of divorce if it supposedly causes people to go "off the derech" as well as promote "at risk" behavior?

And so I didn't bother saying anything, because responding to the Rabbi would've been like responding to a wall.

Well, I could argue "facts" now. An article in today's NYPOST says that 47% of people surveyed "said cell phones and the Internet have improved the quality of their family's communication, while only 2 percent said it hurt it."

"Another 47-percent said there was no impact."

Try telling this to a Rabbi. They'll go on and on about Kosher phones and completely miss the point.

29 comments:

Mikeinmidwood said...

I hear ya.

Holy Hyrax said...

The problem with these rabbis is incredibly simple. They are always too EXTREME. The fact is, they DO have valid points. Even psychologists will say too much technology can hinder any relationship. It's just that they always use this sweeping hand ideology to condemn everything without looking at with a bit more of an even hand. When you are extreme, you lose your audience. But if you can instill into your audience some subtle advice to think about, it will stick with them more.

DYS said...

why are you going to these shiurim? If you want to go to shiurim with more open minded rabbanim, go to Manhattan. Or maybe try Rabbi Sokol at the Yavneh Minyan.

Chag sameach

Joodah said...

Who wants to have sex with one woman for the rest of their lives anyway?

Cell phones? I'd just as much blame vibrators. or TV. or the biggest abomination of all; The inter-web!

rabbis blaming technology for divorce. what a joke.

lars shalom said...

kosher feet

frumpunk said...

So why do you keep going to these shiurim? Just for post fodder?

frumskeptic said...

I went to this particular shuir because it was on hilchos shabbos and yom tov, which is practical.

I hardly ever attend hashkafa type shuirim. They bother me because the themes are usually about some sort of modern invention and how its a negative with OJ; OR its about how having goyish friends is automatically going to lead to assimiliation.

frumskeptic said...

if i ever say "I was at a shuir and I heard..."

and it's something like this post the Rabbi either went of topic or a friend of mine begged me to show up, because it was her first time going, and she didn't know if she'd know anyone (happens like once, maybe twice a year)

Anonymous said...

"Having goyish friends is automatically going to lead to assimilation"

When does it not?

DYS said...

Anything can lead to assimilation. The point is to have enough emunah so it does not, not to hide away in a closet so nothing will influence you.

Mikeinmidwood said...

DYS

Rabbi Sokol Is good. I heard one speech from one rabbi and heard the same thing from rabbi Sokol. R'sokol was much more inspiring.

Rich Perkins said...

Here in Israel, "kosher" cell phones are marketed to the chareidi public. So what make a cell phone kosher you ask? They don't allow the phones to have text messaging, games, internet/e-mail on them.

At least in this manner the rabbis are recognizing that cell phones themselves are not a problem, but rather they take issue with certain functions. while i may not agree with it, at least they are dealing with it is a sensible manner.

Rich
http://frustratedorthojew.blogspot.com/

Jessica said...

Why stop at modern technology? If a husband learns all day his wife will be jealous of his gemarah. If a woman exercises everyday her husband will be jealous of her running shoes. There, now we can blame gemarahs and running shoes for divorce too... wonderful.

Lion of Zion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lion of Zion said...

DYS:

"Or maybe try Rabbi Sokol at the Yavneh Minyan."

i leined a few times at the yavne minyan over the summer and have started davening there occasionally. r. sokol is great. (this summer was the first time in a few years that i didn't fall asleep or tune out during a derasha)

frumskeptic said...

Jessica- you've made wonderful points. now, go tell the Rebbeim and lets bet on how long it takes for them to ban learning alot during marraige or excercing. ;)

The Babysitter said...

I think I've read about this once. I was actually reading today about how now even within a house families are using cell's to call each other and text each other instead of taking the exercise of going to the family member to tell them something.

That does sound ridiculous. But you know what, because of Shabbos and Yom tov we get to touch base with our families more often than the other American's. So that may cause a difference in the polling if it was taken in a frum community.

Jessica: very funny and great point. But actually your onto something. There is the concept of Shana Rishona for that reason, a spouse can't get too involved with something else that leaves the other spouse out.

As far as I'm concerned a husband is not allowed to have his head in the gemara a whole day and ignore his wife. Everything is good so long as it doesn't become an obsession. Exercise is good, but if it becomes their life and makes them ignore their spouse then no it's not good and has to be limited.

frumskeptic said...

babysitter- I wouldn't be to quick to assume that frum ppl touch base more than the average american family. Many of my PS friends had family dinner each night and were nit even allowed to answer the phone if it rang.
pre frum days my mom used to get annoyed that my fathers karate class twice a week was during dinner time. she made him quit the class after

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: Perhaps your right about that. But in the article itself it was saying the opposite, that without the phones they wouldn't keep in touch.

frumskeptic said...

the article didn't say they wouldn't keep in touch, just that the phones HELP them in keeping in touch.

But generally, my point wasn't that the average American family is better than the frum family, just pointing out that they're probably on the same level. Just like there are plenty of nrmal american families there are plenty of normal Jewish families, just like there are plenty of morons in both groups.

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: right, ok.

So then cell phones aren't a necessity to get families to keep in touch. But they are more like an extra that helps it become more convenient.

Jessica said...

I know I'm going to sound like an old-fogey, but I swear I'm actually 23... I remember the days before cell phones. For me, cell phones haven't made keeping in contact any easier.

frumskeptic said...

Jessica- the cell phone is my life. Unfortunately. But thats only becaue my cell phone has email and facebook. The two factors of my kit with EVERYONE.

If a friend calls me up and asks me abotu someon or s/t, it wouldnt take longer than 15 minuts for me to figure out who to email/facebook quicker to get an answer or a plan or w/e. Plus, When my freinds get engaged or have babies, its always up to me to spread the news. Without my phone, email, facebook, i wouldn't agree to spread the news. Id ask to be left alone.

Jessica said...

Yeah, take out the phone aspect and that's how I keep in touch too.

The Babysitter said...

I'd rather do that stuff from my computer. But I did buy a pocket PC which has wireless, I didn't get a chance to really check it out.

FrumSkeptic: btw, do you know how to connect to the BC network? it asks for a username, a password and a domain, do you know what your supposed to put in?

but if my thing works then it's so much better than using a phone, cause it's portable, but at the same time you don't have to pay 15 a month for a data plan for internet, but then again, it doesn't come with internet, only connections you can find, but then again there's always connections everywhere. i was going to try it out when I went babysitting last motzie shabbos, but the kid didn't go to sleep so I didn't get a chance.

frumskeptic said...

there shoud be an option to sign in using backdoor. For that all u need is your SS# and bday.

I love my phone. but if a pocket PC works for u, than yay! :-)

The Babysitter said...

perhaps, maybe I'll just have to ask people who I see using their laptops how they got on.

and Thanx!

Moshe said...

Aircrack, makes most closed networks, open, just takes time.

The Babysitter said...

Moshe: I think I tried that once but I couldn't figure it out.