I am not a perfect person or perfect observant Jew by any means, and so while I think the notion of “half-Shabbos” or justifying texting on Shabbos by citing that it uses “low levels of electricity” is ridiculous for an Orthodox person to put forth, I will refrain from chastising teens who text on Shabbos because, quite frankly, I stand in a glass house, albeit for other reasons. (“For Many Orthodox Teens, ‘Half-Shabbos’ is a Way of Life,” June 24)
However, I do feel fully justified in criticizing these Orthodox teens’ lack of imagination or restraint. There is a 24-hour period each week where you are asked to abstain from using technology, and you find Shabbos too drawn-out and too boring to even contemplate the thought? I only just turned 25, but I wasn’t a teen too long ago, and I remember spending many a Shabbos afternoon absorbed in a good book, walking to friends’ houses to talk to them — in person — and even playing a board game or two with my family members. There’s eating, sleeping, taking a walk, playing cards and reading a newspaper, too.
When you can’t even spend one day away from the barrage of phone calls, e-mails, texts, and IM conversations lest you miss out on some vital piece of information that you think you need before sundown, you need to take a step back and re-examine your life.