Lately, there is a steady stream of videos, art works and applications that somehow express discontent from the constant connectivity imposed we currently enjoy. From pictures depicting the best party ever, to a rehab plan from smartphones, people are thinking about the toll that connectivity takes. The most viral of these expressions is the “I Forgot My Phone” video:
What is exactly the problem? There seem to be a multitude of them: the mobile technology disruption of traditional social relations, disruption of our inner focus and mindfulness, concerns regarding the effect on kids, and even on our brains.
Following this wave, there are more and more ideas on how to disconnect, even temporally. For example, an alternative to quitting the smartphone, a manifesto for unplugging, and useful tools to disconnect the computer’s network.
This backlash towards a possible future allows some conservative thinking to try to be relevant in new context. An interesting arena is the Shabbat, which in the U.S. gradually slides into a “Half Shabbat“, where young Jewish people do not use any electricity, except texting. Manifests such as unplugging for Shabbat or this emotional video below, frame the Shabbat as a method for self control, and as a way to connect to other people. So is the spiritual path the only way to combat a smartphone? Time will tell.
Oh, and thanks to Ohad for some of the links!