Monthly Article Archives: December 2014

So Close and Yet So Faraway, So Connected and Yet So DisconnectedRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

I believe the year was 2003, perhaps 2004. I was invited to give a presentation about raising resilient children. The sponsoring group asked if I would like to join them for a light dinner prior to the talk. I was pleased to do so. Little did I know that during that meal I was to be introduced to an electronic instrument that I had never seen before but one that was to assume a dominant world-wide presence during the upcoming years, a presence that was to grow exponentially. I enjoyed the dinner conversation. At one point a member of the group took out what appeared to be a funny-shaped cell phone and asked, “Have any of you heard about the BlackBerry?” No one had. She said that it was quite an amazing instrument, that in addition to its use as a phone, you could also use it to receive and answer e-mail messages. As a technological device it sounded rather impressive. However, I will never forget my response. “But if you can check your e-mail messages from any location with the BlackBerry, it might distract you from other things. For some people it would take a lot of willpower not

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