Saturday, January 16, 2010

Technology, Attention spans and Shabbos....

So, over Shabbos, I started reading my reading selection for the CUNY CPE exam. This is an exam that everyone takes to show that we can read and write and we've learned some critical thinking skills in college... or perhaps we even came in with those skills. Nevertheless, we take this exam to prove that we have these skills and thus are worthy of a college degree.

Anyhow, the reading selection, which I started reading over Shabbos until about half way through it when I decided to take a nap, was about the lack of attention span that has resulted from the internet and I will even expand this to include technology as a whole. I mean, most people are constantly with the texting. I really don't text, although, I've been accused of texting, as I Email and Facebook from my phone. When I was accused of texting, I was usually on Facebook commenting on someone's status.

Am I sidetracked again? Well, that's the point. It's as if the entire society has ADHD nowadays. I actually have ADHD, so I'm not sure if I know the difference. However, I think back to when I was working as a receptionist during my conversion process. On Fridays, when it was quiet, I would be sitting at the front desk reading Jewish books for a hour or two straight, totally engrossed in those books. The phone would actually ring or someone would come to the window and I would jump, like out of my skin. It reminds me of when I was in college the first time. One of my roommates (I lived in a triple that semester) was in the room for a while and finally said something to me. I was sitting in the corner studying so hard, absolutely engrossed in probably Spanish-American histor or literature. I jumped. From then on, that roommate would say, "hello, I'm coming in the room."

I can't remember the last time I engrossed so thoughroughly in a book or my studies like that... Or can I? Then I realized, on Shabbos, I am like that. I think it's the mere fact of a the computer being off and the utter quiet -makes face- well utter quiet when the landlady and the kids are in shul in the morning. How could I ever go to shul? Shul time is the only time I don't hear either THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP over my head *OR* snoring.... (see for all you who were about to say, "those kids must sleep sometimes..." yes, and when they do, so does their father... ZZZZZZZzzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!

Incidentally, another inspiration besides the CPE reading was the admission from one of my "frummy" readers that she and her "frummy" boyfriend spend much of Shabbos texting each other. So, I, of course, said, "so you don't keep Shabbos? She said, 'we do, but we text.'" Hey, I thought frummies didn't have boyfriends anyway? They go from strangers to married, no?

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