By Joan Praver—Beit T’Shuvah Board Member
Brooklyn Technical High School, at one time, put out qualifying exams to screen their applicants for admission. It primarily contained questions on math and vocabulary. One year, a question on the vocabulary portion was ignored by the majority of applicants. It was quickly discussed and looked up, following the exam. The question asked for a four-letter word defining intercourse. The correct answer was talk.
In today’s society I am certainly a member, but as far as the latest technological inventions, I am a “dinosaur.” Yes, I own a computer, but still have only a simple phone, no iPhone, no iPad, and I prefer communicating on a house phone. I’ve read Steve Jobs’ Autobiography and know he was a genius, along with Bill Gates, but believe they have altered all the social skills of our current generation, who whip off text messages, but can’t hold a dinner conversation. I have begun to wonder how they conduct a conversation once sex between them is over. After the sentence, “Was it as good for you as it was for me?” can they reach for a second topic explaining who they are, and what they want in a friend and what they are looking for in a permanent partner. Maybe they never get past a business discussion, whether they vote democratic or republican, or their current investments in the stock market.
My generation is great at small, intimate conversations that get a lot more personal information across, most of it based on true feelings, rather than trying to create a false impression of who you are. In business transactions, technology is irreplaceable. But when it comes to social networking our true skills, our intercourse is the ability to talk, to tell one another who we are. We have lost something in the transition. It has become a major “flaw” we may never be able to repair.