Thursday, June 30, 2011

No. Way.

One Shabbos, on one of those "let's get rid of residual weight" walks, I passed a house with a basketball game going on in the driveway. They were Jewish boys, and I was surprised to hear the jingle of a cell phone. Then I thought I saw one in a boy's hand.

"No way," I thought. "I must have been imagining things."
According to the Jewish Week I was flipping through last week, I wasn't.

The article says how teenagers are just too addicted to their phones, and are also bored on Shabbos. Well, the kid I saw was surrounded by friends, so it couldn't have been the latter.

Our whole faith is based on discipline. We can't eat what we want, we have to pray at certain times, we must refrain from work one day a week. I have heard it said that by restricting one's desires, one becomes free - our mind is what controls our emotions and impulses.

But for many who are FFB, those restrictions are taken for granted - a "you don't miss what you never had" sort of thing.

I am happy to observe that while the  long Shabbos afternoons were very hard on me as a teenager, but I find as I get older I am okay with being bored.

An expert was advising parents who have kids to entertain in the summer to teach them to "embrace boredom." Children have to be taught while very young that life won't always entertain them, and they have to be able to handle down time. 

But what of alleged cell phone addiction? 

The news was covering a story a few months ago how teenagers were complaining of exhaustion (apparently, more than usual) and their work was suffering in class. Some were taken to a sleep clinic, hooked up with wires and suction cups and whatnot, but here's the thing - they would wake up in the night to text. Duh, you're tired!

I have absolutely no attachment to my cell, sometimes misplacing it for days at a time. I don't have a texting plan. I simply don't see the allure. I really can't empathize. What I can't get is what is this scintillating conversation that one has to wake up for in the night? "Dude, that was a game." "I know, right?" "Yeah, man, love basketball!"  

So, what is it? Texting for the sake of texting? The thumbs get the ol' itch on Shabbos?

Does anyone else suffer from cell withdrawal over the 25 hours of Shabbos? 


SternGrad said...

I am very attached to my cell phone and get nervous if it is not on me at all times. I text all the time- I am a huge texter. But I have never, ever even been tempted to text on shabbos. The three main reasons I have never even been tempted to text, and it would never even enter my mind are:

1. I love shabbos. I love taking a break from technology. I also never find myself bored- between hanging out with family and friends, learning Torah, reading books, and napping, I am never bored- but more than that shabbos is just too important to me.
2. I didn't grow up with cell phones- I didn't own a cell phone until high school, and I never texted until college. It's not a part of my mentality.
3. I would have no one to text anyway, since everyone who I text on a regular basis keeps shabbos. Who would I text?

I think for teenagers today, these three reasons don't hold true. The most important is #3- once a few people start texting, their friends feel left out. They also grew up with technology and it is a part of their life more. Even little kids have cell phones! To me that is mind boggling. And lastly, unforutnately, is #1- no matter who else is texting or how much you are used to technology, shabbos needs to play an important role in a persons life.

I have never seen any frum person texting on shabbos, thank G-d, and I hope it remains something I only read about in newspapers.

Princess Lea said...