Too Much Information

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3 Responses

  1. Adi says:

    Excellent idea! Might I add, the advent of computers, with their ability to scan the entire Tanach, Gemara, Rambam etc also contribute to this lack of focus. While it is certainly seems advantageous that we can pull up any piece of text we need in milliseconds (and while this ability definately is advantageous when preparing source sheets for shiurim!), when people learn seforim from a computer screen, a certain feeling of genuineness is lost. Nothing can beat the experience of sifting through the pages of a sefer to find what you’re looking for, or having several seforim laid out open on the table and you have to switch back and forth between them, keeping a finger on the right spot on every page (apparently, half the fun of giving a shiur is preparing it!)… My husband is a computer technician, but learning out of real, printed seforim with his chavrusa every night lights him up like no computer screen can!

  2. Aaron says:

    I feel like others look at me like a martian for not having a cellphone. Since I gave it up 2 years ago, I get much more work done and feel less a slave to the tyranny of “now”. Clients who once were content to leave a message and have me get back to them now expect to reach me directly, anytime, anyplace.

    Extrapolate… exactly how much gadlus could be achieved if our gedolim were expected to be reachable on their cellphones anytime, anyplace, in the middle of a shiur, in the middle of a seder.

    Go back to “quadrant” management, where you have important and urgent in quadrant 1, important and not urgent in quadrant 2, urgent and not important in quadrant 3 and neither urgent nor important in quadrant 4. We spend WAY too much time in quadrant 3. Or, to use a different story of the rocks, pebbles, sand and water in the pail, we fill our limited time with less important things so there’s no time for major stuff.

    I am fighting hard to remain unleashed to a cellphone.

  3. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “And the more mobile the technology, he noted further, the more opportunities for our concentration to be broken… The losses are tragic, even if so subtle that most of us don’t even realize what we are missing.”

    I remember R. Salomon mentioning this. I was also recently listening to a shiur on Torah Web by R. Mayer Twerski (Dec. 2, 2007, linked below), and he made the point that there is a natural resistance to being alone with Hashem during leisure time, and that excessive technology may have exacerbated, rather than created the difficulty which was already there.

    I think one can also add the need for self- awareness, which is only possible only if one stops and thinks, rather than distracts oneself. I’m also not a Luddite, but talking about proper proportion, and making time to “plug out”. I would love to elaborate on this further, but I don’t wish to cause information overload 🙂

    http://www.torahweb.org/twersky.html

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