23 October, 2007

Bring on the Technology Free Zones!

Its no secret to anyone that I hate cell phones, blackberries, pagers, answering machines . I resent riding in a car and having the driver talk on the phone risking my life as if it were nothing at all. Will it take death to prove they are wrong?
I resent phone calls on cells in the middle of gatherings, meetings, etc.
I resent being forced to hear men and women talking loudly on cells in public places.
One fellow recently wrote an editorial about how he almost lost his wife due to a cell freaks obsession. They were driving along when the freak plowed into them because he had his stupid cell phone plastered to the side of his idiot head.
The wife of the writer was injured enough for an ambulance and hospital stay.
The cell freak belongs in jail for a stay at least as long as the hospital stay.

I would like to quote some things from an article by Mark Glaser which hit another side of the internet , cell phone craze that people are missing but that I think are very relavent and scary.
He says: (emphasis mine throughout)

"Last weekend I went back for a reunion of old friends at my alma mater, the
University of Missouri-Columbia, located in the heartland of America. While
wandering around campus, I noticed that just about every student had a cell
phone out to read text messages or check voicemails as they walked around —
whether they had friends nearby or not. What was once something you did in
private or during downtime has now become an obsession. We all need to find
what else is going on at other locations, to the detriment of the
situation happening right there in front of us.
The unspoken
subtext of
checking text messages in front of friends is:
Somewhere else there is someone who I care about more than you. I want to know what they have to say more than what you have to say to me now.”
The idea of being present in the moment is disappearing faster than you can say, “Hey, I’ve got to take this call…”
We devalue our current situation, the friends and family around us, our surroundings and setting, for something going on somewhere else.

Last year when I visited London, I noticed an acute case of what I call gadget haze, with so many hipster urbanites connected at all times to smart phones or MP3 players
When I got lost, I asked a woman if I was near SoHo, and it took a moment for her to realize that someone real in front of her was actually talking to her. Slowly, she removed herself from her bubble, took off her headset, asked me to repeat what I said.
Eventually she pointed me in the right direction and put the headset back on.
What amazed me was the delay between the time I asked my question and her reply.
It was almost as though I was talking to her in a
foreign language. She had to take a moment to come out of her reverie, to literally come back to the present moment and the place where she stood to talk to someone right in
front of her. With ever more immersive experiences on mobile devices — from
music to TV to games — I wonder whether the gadget haze will grow thicker and thicker, making it even more difficult for others to break through."

When I went back to my old college, I met up with a friend about my age
(i.e. well removed from college age) and we chatted about the overuse of
“Even people my age are addicted to them,” he said. “I try
not to
have them on me at all. I just don’t like the idea of people being able to contact me wherever Igo. I’d rather be with the people around me than worry about who’s going to call me, who I need to call back and all that. It’s really
a sad state of our society to see so many people tied down to their cell phones
Indeed. There have even been studies showing that cell phones are causing the same problem as
other addictive behavior . According to a University of Florida news story, a Japanese study found that children with cell phones often won’t make friends with other children who don’t have cell phones. Plus, a
British study of college students found that 7% of students had lost a relationship or job due to cell phone usage.
That’s a warning sign that we as a society are giving in to our electronic tether, our techno-fetishes, and putting more faith in them than in our own real-world concerns. I wonderwhether more electronic communication will mean less face-to-face conversations, and we’ll have
generations of people who are more comfortable texting their friends than talking to them in person."

Glaser is singing my song. I see a world being created where interaction between real people is dying out. Real effort at relations are being dumbed down to texting on phones and internet messagers. People become words on a page or sounds through a head set rather than living breathing creatures to love and care about. When no face is involved something is missing, terribly missing. You have a relation with a thing, not a person.
I notice how animals concentrate on the face of a person.
My dog is old and falls down if you come at her too quickly. They key is to avert your face as you go by so that she does not think she is in the way and must quickly move over, which causes her to lose her footing. It is all in the face. G-d has oriented them by instinct to seek out the face of other animals and humans and eye to eye contact is extremely meaningful.
When this is not there, meaning is lost completely.

I think anyone can see that there is a place and a purpose for cell phones. They are a modern convenience that help those alone, especially travelling alone, walking alone. They can be a life line for those people. They are good for an emergency.
But, there was a time no one had them and did just fine even inspite of emergencies.
I remember the explanation by a certain Rav of why old time medicines worked often very well. It is because G-d knew it was what we had, that we were doing our part, and so he did the rest. He made them work in other words. He can do so in all situations when the conveniences are not there if we trust in him I think.
But, the conveniences are now there and thats nice, but, its sad its being abused to such an extent and that it interferes with "real" life sometimes.

We have only begun to see illness related to the new techology crazes.
I know that fibormyalgia is related to cell phone and electronic gadgets , microwave towers,etc. Feng Shui will alert you to the truth that too much electricity in a room will prevent good sleep, cause headaches and other interruptions in health.
Quoting from True Dangers of Mobile Phones and Wireless technologies:
An increasing number of scientists speculate that our own cells, in fact, use the microwave spectrum to communicate with one another, like children whispering in the dark, and that cell phones, like jackhammers, interfere with their signaling. In any case, it is a fact that we are all being bombarded, day in and day out, whether we use a cell phone or not, by an amount of microwave radiation that is some ten million times as strong as the average natural background. And it is also a fact that most of this radiation is due to technology that has been developed since the 1970s.

As far as cell phones themselves are concerned, if you put one up to your head you are damaging your brain in a number of different ways. First, think of a microwave oven. A cell phone, like a microwave oven and unlike a hot shower, heats you from the inside out, not from the outside in.

And there are no sensory nerve endings in the brain to warn you of a rise in temperature because we did not evolve with microwave radiation, and this never happens in nature.

Worse, the structure of the head and brain is so complex and non-uniform that “hot spots” are produced, where heating can be tens or hundreds of times what it is nearby. Hot spots can occur both close to the surface of the skull and deep within the brain, and also on a molecular level
Organs that have been shown to be especially susceptible to radio waves include the lungs, nervous system, heart, eyes, testes and thyroid gland.

Diseases that have increased remarkably in the last couple of decades, and that there is good reason to connect with the massive increase in radiation in our environment, include asthma, sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorder, autism, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, cataracts, hypothyroidism, diabetes, malignant melanoma, testicular cancer, and heart attacks and strokes in young people.
Despite all this people love their technology and there is something wrong in that.


  1. technology is overlaying a virtual world on a real one but real human interactions suffer

    for example the level and quantity of rudeness on the internet would not exist without the sense that people on the other end are somehow unreal

  2. Wifi is also causing problems with health.
    I am considering ditching the internet. Sigh

  3. Lemon I am soooo with you here!! While my kids are at school my cell is with me at all times but I will pull over & stop to answer or return a call. I will not talk while driving!!

    When the kids are with me I often turn it off. There are times the kids are even in my car and when the cell rings they will answer and say "Mom's DRIVING!" and hang up. LOL

    At the risk of sounding like a total moonbat, I have a small disc that supposedly dampens electromagnetic radiation from my hard drive (which is near my legs). Since using it - my legs do feel better. Probably all in my head but I would be happy to share the company with you.

    Please don't ditch the net! you'd be missed.

  4. I would like to know the company for sure. You don't sound like a moonbat and its not all in your head either!
    Not by a long shot.
    All of the relatively new conditions are alleviated by removal of electronic devices especially from sleeping areas.
    It has long been known that electric blankets cause birth defects, that is not in anyones head!
    The human body is electric , currents passing through the chemical composition of the body and its water content. When electronic outside influences are added the proper flow of energy in the body is disrupted causing all sorts of problems.
    If anyone would doubt that electricity can hurt, try sticking your finger in a light socket!
    Well, electricity travels and creates a sort of aura around its source and the closer you are, the more the effect.
    People living by high tension wires have a problem with tumors and cancers. This is all well documented.

  5. there may be ways to position the router to limit your exposure to wifi

  6. I'm with you on this. I also hate cell phones, blackberries, etc. Another pet peeve along those lines is call waiting.

    It's aggravating to be talking with someone and click your on hold. Then when I hang up after waiting 10-15 minutes the other person calls ME rude.

    I did sort of change my feelings about cell phones because last Sunday my sister was taking me shopping and we saw a woman being threatened at her car window. The driver got into his car and started chasing her.

    My sister pulled out the cell phone and called 911.

  7. Yes they have purposes for sure.
    Consider this though, just to play devil's advocate and promote thought here:
    When we did not have this fast food technology as I call it, we also did not have people threatening at car windows like we do today. Life was safer in those days by far.
    The "fast food" generation is impatient, used to convenience and hopelessly spoiled all of which create crime and mindless behavior.
    Some technologies actually cause crime and a lessening of character.

  8. Absolutely. It creates a very selfish attitude of I want what I want, how I want it and when I want it.

    Selfishness leads to impatience, impatience creates a demanding person and a demanding impatient person is more likely to act in a rash and selfish manner. It's a vicious cycle.

  9. And in the case of wanting instant availability does cause increased rudeness, for sure.