The Idol in My Pocket

Image: A man using a smartphone. (Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay)

I like my smartphone. It keeps track of my life: calendar, email, alarm clock, social media, maps and GPS. It’s a handy little device. Sometimes I even use it as a phone.

The trouble is that it orders me around. “You’ve got mail!” “You’ve got a Facebook message!” and the presence of a phone on my body at all times means that I’m at the beck and call of the thing 24/7. It interrupted conversations, intruded itself on my concentration, and made a general nuisance of itself.

I rebelled against the little idol: now I have strict policies about how I use the smartphone. When I am meeting one-on-one with someone, I turn it off. I do this because it infuriates me to be talking with someone, and then a bell dings, and our conversation is effectively over: I’m shunted aside for another conversation.

That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it.

BT Shabbat 31

What smartphone tyranny do you find particularly annoying? Has that changed your own behavior in any way? Should it?