Thursday, May 5, 2016

The "space cadets" of the chareidi world - whose minds are not where their bodies are: The impact of cells phones on awareness of others

I received these observations with permission to publish them anonymously. In the ongoing discussion of the impact of modern technology are who we are and how we relate to others.

Here in Beitar I regularly witness the following:

  • men listening to their recordings as they walk in the street totally unaware of their surroundings, of each other, of the traffic

  • men on the phone in the street totally unaware of their surroundings

  • men in stores on the phone to their wives taking instructions totally unaware that there are other people in the store and moving their person around without any consideration for people in front, behind or at the side.

  • mothers pushing their agolas with one hand and phone in the other hand conversing while little/tiny children trail behind totally unattended at the mercy of the traffic here and of the distracted drivers also on the phone

  • mother actually crossing the road on the phone with little kids in tow.  i yell at them in english and tell them to put their phones away and look after their kids.  it only raises my blood pressure :-)

  • fathers crossing the road doing the same as above - i do the same and some do listen if i do it nicely.

  • i saw - twice now - a young father on an electric bike with little kid on the crossbar, no helmets, on the phone weaving in and out of parked cars and the traffic on a main street.  when i accosted him he just grinned maniacally and continued on his way.  i have given up... can't change the world.

  • people are not in "the now".  they are somewhere else.

  • a generation of kids are here where their mothers don't speak to them outdoors because they are busy on their phones.  to me the kids look lost and bewildered and neglected.  maybe it's indoors too.

  • men of all ages riding electric bikes on the crowded sidewalks - one of those could kill or maim.  

  • what happened to "Bein Odom LeChaveiroh" i ask here.  they can talk for three hours about an esrog and wrongly park in a handicapped driver's place without batting an eyelid.
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