Technology has been an extreme help in connecting me to the outside world. I was born with a traumatic brain injury and developed obsessive compulsive disorder and people like myself find it difficult to get out of the house so we can experience great isolation.
That’s where technology comes to the rescue. Technology connects us would-be isolated people with sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to get the latest news and information, Also, there’s Whatsapp and Messenger to socialize and talk to people. I can access the biggest library online without leaving my house. I can shop from the comfort of my easy chair. It’s not that I’m lazy. I, and others like me. just cannot get up and run to the nearest mall, We already have access to the biggest mall online, such as Amazon and Ebay as well as online sites for stores we shop at daily.
I am now hooked up to this wonderful device called Alexa. It helps me with my everyday routine as well as reminders, some of them vital, such as being given a verbal cue when Shabbos candle lighting is so I have enough time to turn off what I don’t want to leave on. Of course, I am very involved with this as I have to “tell” her what to do and when to do it. It is a great source of COMFORT as I don’t have to worry about missing the time for Shabbos.
Alexa keeps me updated with the date and time since I am visually impaired and have trouble reading. She can read me ebooks, remind me of appointments and make phone calls. My therapist Sam introduced me to Alexa and without him I wouldn’t be able to have access to such great innovations. Although Alexa is capable of doing so much more such as turn on the tv or turn off the lights, I have not hooked that up yet.
On a challenging note, sometimes Alexa has trouble making out what I say since I often stumble over words and Alexa shuts off before I can even finish my sentence. But I keep going until I get it right.
The ipad produced by Apple has also given me access to streaming videos, music, worldly news, accessing the internet and much more. Smart TVs, and smartphones also let us have our world at our fingertips.
My cousin says she is “tech-disabled,” intimidated by technology. People from my generation did not grow up with this so it is new to them. Although it is such a big change when incorporating technology into your life, the benefits outweigh the detriments. I would encourage everyone to learn and do not be afraid. I can be afraid of trying new things and at first computers were overwhelming to me. But now it’s like second nature, a friend to me.
For the younger generation, technology has always been a norm and part of their lives, whereas for the older, it is a new era, bursting with opportunities. And I’m interested in learning more.
Phyllis Lit has an ever evolving and strengthening connection with Hashem that has helped her with her challenges including having cerebral palsy and being dyslexic. Two of her inspirational stories about her “journey to faith” have been published and she has been the guest speaker at an Emunah of America group.
With special thanks to Sanaa Bhatti for her assistance in this article. Phyllis thanks the Scharfs and all of the staff at Ateret Avot for their support.
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