Thursday, March 5, 2009

Switching off, tuning in

Abstain from Internet, SMS texting, iPod, etc. for a few days during Lent??
That's the big world news today, that a few dioceses and bishops in Italy are recommending that Catholics give up one or all of such practices for the next month. Well, maybe only on Fridays.
(There is a report here and an interesting opinion piece here.)
A friar phoning
A monk checking messages

Why do I always need to surpress a giggle when I see a monk or nun multi-tasking with a cell phone in Jerusalem? Something about the monastic habit coupled with high-tech gadgets just looks incongruous to me. But it shouldn't. It isn't.
Well, if you happened to read my posts about the Pope as blogger and about the Vatican's new dedicated channel on YouTube, you know I have some kind of fascination with this.
What do you think about the Italians' idea of switching off? Could you do it?
P.S. I don't even have a cell phone to turn off.


cieldequimper said...

Well... though one must live with one's times, I kind of like the idea that monks and nuns live in a timeless world, with no modern "constraints" like the ones we seem to be very good at making for ourselves.

Catherine said...

Isn't that a joke in advance, for April 1st, Dina ?
I could do it. But I don't want. Does it make me attach more importance to my non virtual relationship ? I don't think so. Each kind of friendship have its importances.
There's so much to say about Vatican's decisions, no ? Maybe, they could "silence" for longer than the Lent, a certain bishop. It would be a greater idea.

spacedlaw said...

Of course, I could do it. Any time I want. Like, next week. No problem at all.

Dottie Jo said...

I don't text that much , so I could definitely do it.
I like your comment about giggling when you see a nyn or priest texting - I once saw a Buddhist monk taking a photo with a digital camera in the middle of NYC - so funny, and so out of place! OF course I took a photo of him...

Louise said...

Ilove these photos? Could I switch off? Yes. Do I want to? No. If I could switch back on all caught up, I wouldn't mind, but I am the catch-up type. A month off would take a year to catch up!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it peculiar how we become addicted to different things? For about 50 years I got up in the mornings and had my first cup of coffee while reading the morning newspaper. That was something I really looked forward to. The newspaper kept raising the rates every year or two and then one day I discovered the same newspaper with the same content, less all the SPAM (advertising) on the Internet and began reading that in the morning and canceled the print edition. Now, since our daughter came back home to live with us, and brought along the daily newspaper on Thursday and Sunday, I try hard to look at it but just give up. I like the Internet version the most. I suppose I could get addicted to iPhone and cell phones but then I would have to give up something else to really devote any amount of time to it.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville, Ohio

richies said...

No blogging for Lent. Not a chance! :)

An Arkies Musings

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I don't have a cell phone. I haven't been able to adapt to how odd they feel. I've been closely aligned with the warehouse district of Los Angeles for many years. When I hear someone talking loudly by themselves, my first inclination is to think they are mentally ill. I have to look twice to determine if they are A. schizophtrenic or B. on a cell phone.

right: I don't practice lent

Leora said...

Love that top photo, with all the greenery and the friar on the phone.

You live in Israel, and you don't own a cell phone? I thought it was a national requirement! ;-)

Hilda said...

I think it's a great idea! I don't text or call much so that's out. But the internet! Ah, that's something else. I think I can do it…

Kay said...

I don't actually use my cellphone much. I just need to call long distance to my kids. As for the computer.... I can no longer do without it.

Ellen said...

Having been stuck in an airport with a bunch of friars (on our way to Lourdes) one of whom managed to leave his false teeth back at the priory in the early morning departure I can personally vouch for the helpfulness of some religious having cell phones!

Of course, if those left back home would deign to answer the phone when it goes off (even at 6am) that would also have been helpful!!!!

Just a little anecdote that sprung to my mind and I thought you might enjoy!

I read an article about this too in The Telegraph on Wednesday. I think it would probably be a very fine idea, mostly because I know how hard it would be for me to do it. Coming to that conclusion sends a few alarm bells ringing, no? However, will I do it?...... we'll see!

Sara said...

No, I couldn't do it (stay off the Internet, that is).

Yes, I have a cell phone, but hardly ever use it ... only to call my husband if I'm late getting home from someplace. I don't like being connected 24 hours a day by cell phone to anything or anyone. It is almost always turned off. No camera, no email capacities either.

But, yes, I DO need my daily roam around the world on-line with blogging...

I can totally understand how incongruous it seems to see a monk in a medieval habit using the latest in modern technology! Such juxtapositions are delightful I think.

Petrea said...

I admit I'm addicted. This is why I refuse to even try Twitter. I'd become obsessed. My house would be filthy, there would be no food in the refrigerator. I'd never get anything done.

I LOVE these photos, Dina. The ancient buildings, the modern clerics.