Thursday, September 15, 2011

PREPENT5772 DAY FOURTEEN Digital Damage?



Anthony Wiener's wiener pic cost a career and now a tightly held
Democratic Congressional seat. It's just one sad example of a new set
of sins, crimes and social transgressions - the digital do not's.
Guilty? who's not?

Last night at dinner in some diner S. pulls out the iphone half way
through the veggie burger (still pescatarian two weeks later!) and
check out some email or txt or whatever and a full 90 seconds or
whatever later I tap, ungraciously, on the table: 'hello? do you
OK - admit it - have you ever gone to the bathroom in the middle of a
meal with someone just to check your emails?

It's like there's this whole new human category of social sins and
transgressions. When the sages of blessed memory debated the mechanics
of repentance in Talmudic tomes they paid a lot of attention to social
sins. One cannot stand before God on Yom Kippur having not done the
hard work first with the people in your life: make emends, ask for
forgiveness, reach out to those you love, embrace the other and
commit to being a better friend, a better person. People first, then
God. Peace begins within and at home. Wise words. But could they have
imagined the number of people in one's modern digital life and the
magnitude of the modern repentance project? How many people did any of
my grandparents communicate with on a regular basis when they were my
age, back in Poland and England, London in the mid 1930's? How many
people am I contact with now, daily, in one form, tweet, txt or
another? Just the thought of a 'contacts' inventory check is
This multi channeled multi social media lifestyle rocks - and this
very blog is happy proof - but it's also rocking the boat of our
already pretty fragile co-existence. Don't you think? A very partial
list of digital do-not's that have become part of our collective bad
behaviour: email addiction, tagging without asking, multi-tasking
while on a conference call, hitting 'reply all' with a really personal
note, cyber bullying, sending around youtube clips of kittens, messing
with privacy, piracy, just basic crass behaviour - please add more:

I'm taking on a 10 min. focus-thought on digital damage in my life and
if there's any intention or action required to improve.

and then I'm probably going to write it up on my iphone and blog it
out and check, too often, to read reactions, or:

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