Tag Archives: Cell phone

How to Cure the Navel-Gazing Epidemic

Narcissism is one of the biggest dangers today, especially with kids.  Parents are doing everything they can to rescue their kids from their own laziness and failures.  They hand out trophies when they lose and tell them they’re wonderful no matter what.  However, the only thing they’re doing is fostering empty self-esteem.
Many people don’t realize there’s a big difference between wanting something and deserving it.  They think, “I deserve something because I want it,” as opposed to, “I deserve something because I earned it.”  And when it comes to self-esteem, their attitude is no different.
A lot of callers come on my show saying that the reason they make bad choices is because they have low self-esteem.  However, they have it backwards: it’s because they make poor choices that they lack esteem for themselves.  Self-respect requires effort.
About six months ago, a Pakistani girl named Malala Yousafzai was shot multiple times by a Taliban gunman on the way home from school because she stood up for women’s education.  She was taken to Britain and a brilliant team of surgeons saved her life.  Her face looks a bit numb and she has a hard time talking, but she can use her arms and walk.  This girl is a hero and inspiration to us all.  Why?  Because she earned it.  She bravely took a public stand in a region where it’s very dangerous to do so.

Self-respect doesn’t just happen by virtue of being born or because you’re breathing – you have to earn it by what you do.  I can’t believe that people actually expect themselves and their children to feel respect for themselves when they haven’t earned it.
So, how can we adjust this narcissistic attitude?

It all starts with the parents.  First off, I think every parent who allows their child to have their own personal, private Facebook or Twitter account is being negligent.  It gives kids a false sense of who they are in the world, and they have only one way to go from there – down and out.  According to a brilliant essay by Dr. Keith Ablow, Facebook introduces kids to a world of fantasy which artificially makes them feel special, mature, powerful, and important.  But ultimately the bubble bursts and the fake autobiography explodes.  They end up depressed and either kill themselves or someone else.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/01/08/are-raising-generation-deluded-narcissists/?test=latestnews&intcmp=features#ixzz2HV6CQ8Tm

The rule also applies to television and cell phones.  Your kids should barely watch TV and only if you pick out the programs.  They shouldn’t have a cell phone, but if they do, it should be an old-style phone that only allows them to make calls (not text!) in case of an emergency.
In addition, parents need to cease being weenies and start being leaders in their homes.  Women have to stop dumping their kids in institutionalized day care so they can go off and “esteem themselves” by working.  Furthermore, there are too many unhappy and lonely children as a result of divorced parents who are either too bored or too invested in some new guy or gal to be giving and loving.  Not only does it destroy children’s homes, but it also opens the door for pedophiles who prey on neglected, lonely kids with inattentive parents.
Let’s make fewer excuses (e.g. “We’re too busy and tired,” “All the other kids are doing it,” “You can’t control it,” etc.), and parent more.

Can You Not Live Without Your Cell Phone?

I recently went to go see a movie (something I very rarely do), and I didn’t bring my cell phone in with me.  I then went to lunch, and again, left my phone in the car.  For some reason, this freaked people out.

My friend: “Where’s your cell phone?”
Me: “In the car.” 
My friend: “Why don’t you have it with you?” 
Me: “Because I’m having lunch. I want to relax.”

My cell phone is even off now as I’m sitting here in my office.   I don’t understand why so many of you folks can’t do without them.  According to a survey, more than half of Americans would rather give up chocolate, alcohol and/or caffeine than their cell phone.   A third of you would rather give up sex.  Over 20 percent of you would do without your toothbrush, and if you’re an iPhone user, that percentage doubles (well, I suppose it is good you’re talking into a phone because nobody’s going to want to smell your breath!).  In addition, 21 percent of you would go without shoes before separating from your cell phone.  Two-thirds of you even sleep with your phone by your side. 

When it comes to being able to access the Internet, the insanity level is the same.  Forty percent of you feel lonely and 53 percent of you feel deprived if you can’t get on the Internet.  I guess if you live your life through Facebook rather than face-to-face, that makes sense.  One participant in the survey said that unplugging was akin to having their hands chopped off.  Another stated, “The emptiness overwhelmed me,” and yet another described feeling incomplete.

I can only say one thing: This is scary!

I remember in one of the original Star Trek episodes, there was this group of people who had ceased being corporeal.   They were essentially just thought waves, and they had no need for sex or farming.  All interpersonal interaction was gone.  It was very interesting to them to see how humans interacted with each other because they had bodies.   This is what we’re becoming.  A lot of you see technology as a way to keep in touch, but in my opinion, you are all becoming more and more distant.  You are only engaged in virtual relationships as opposed to real connections. 

Here are a couple little things you can do to unplug and start having healthier relationships:

Schedule some periods of time where you are inaccessible and nobody can reach you.  No texts, no emails…nothing.   Nobody can access you.  You can even make them short at first.  You’ll probably feel anxious and maybe even depressed from being disconnected, but guess what?  Your life will not implode!  It’ll be good for you – just think of all the time you could be spending seeing a friend or doing a hobby while you’re not plugged in.

Pick a day where you don’t touch your email or your cell phone.  Just one day.  It could be Saturday, Sunday, your “day of rest,” Shabbos…whatever.  Pick a day.

Or, if you think that’s impossible, how about this?  Set intervals for when you check your email, or don’t check your email before a certain time.  You can use an autoresponder explaining that you can be reached any time on your cell phone.  At least your cell phone is voice-to-voice.
 
Try to get some humanity back in your life. 

Do you crave your technology?  Take this quiz.  If you can’t get to the end of it without texting, you probably already know your diagnosis.