Everything in the world can be used for good. G-d gave the gift of technology to man. The Idea is to use it for the good – Just like the qualities that G-d endowed us with. We can use them for the good or the opposite. Our Job in life is to use our qualities to achieve our potential. As the Mesillat Yesharim says – it is up to us to pinpoint what is our obligation to achieve in life.
Noah was one the creator of the plow. Although he, did a service to mankind to make us more efficient – it also made man feel less dependent upon G-d. Without the plow, people would turn to G-d to ask for sufficient crops – enough to feed their families. Now with the plow, their output was greatly increased and gave them the impression that they were not so dependent upon Him. They tus turned to Him less and less.
As with everything – it is important to weigh whether the technology will help us establish a greater relationship or improve our service with man & G-d or detract from it.
Sometimes I feel like distancing myself from all this hi-tech world and focus on relationships. Focus on communicating with people. Taking a trip to the great outdoors is one option. Observing the Shabbat is another – where engaging technology is prohibited – is another. Shabbat allows us to remove ourselves from hi-tech and focus on relationships – with family, friends, community & G-d.
Interaction without Communication.
Rabbi Pelocowitz, former Rabbi of a Synagogue in Far Rockaway said – this generation is one that is based on Interaction without communication. Technology use is a common culprit.
Many people have bought TV’s – which may have caused more shallow relationships with their family members. Instead of interacting directly together, they interact with the central focus on a screen & lead to the breakdown of many family values. (Compare the values of the 60’s to those of today.)
Certain Jewish movements have adapted using the car on Shabbat – which eventually led to the breakdown of a once close-knit community. Instead of all staying together, with the synagogue as a central meeting place – their Shabbat mobility lead them to abandon community for shopping.
One of the greatest gift’s that G-d gave us it the ability to think.
The smart person keeps his mind on enhancing himself, his surroundings, his relationships with G-d and man. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of technologies before adapting them – allows one to ultimately improve their quality of & meaning in life.