In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 12, 2013/ 6 Elul, 5773

Death, confessions, all at the touch of a screen

By Mitch Albom

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Greek mythology says that Narcissus was so in love with his own reflection, he died staring at it. I wonder sometimes, when I see people on their cell phones or PDAs, if we're not in danger of a similar fate.

Last week, a man allegedly shot and killed his wife, took a photo of the grisly body, then posted it on Facebook along with a farewell to his public.

"I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife," he posted, "love you guys miss you guys take care Facebook people you will see me in the news."

He then turned himself in to police.

Meanwhile, a week earlier, an Alabama TV reporter was fired after she posted a list of confessions to her personal blog. Among these "confessions"? That she has gone bra-less on the air, that her best sources are the ones who secretly have a crush on her, that positive news depresses her, that she is afraid of old people and refuses to do stories about them. And, "If you ramble and I deem you unnecessary for my story, I'll stop recording but let you think otherwise."

She actually took the post down briefly, then put it back up proudly, saying she believes in free speech.

Yet she wonders why she was fired.

Now, these two cases are hardly equal, yet they illustrate how we live on the Internet. Today, it seems more important to ensure that cyberspace strangers know what we're doing than to follow what common sense — or common decency — dictates.

So the man who allegedly murdered his wife, Derek Medina, told the world in his note that she had been abusive to him, as if that might explain why he shot her multiple times, as he later told police.

Medina apparently posted the photo of his bloodied wife on Facebook while their 10-year-old daughter was in the house. He calls himself a professional writer, at least on his website (and of course, he has a website) where he cites his books, including one that gives advice on marital and communication problems.

You can't make this up.

Meanwhile, the Alabama reporter, Shea Allen, portrays herself as a staunch defender of the First Amendment and refers to herself proudly as "a journalist through and through." Yet her blog looks like a glamour page, and her "confession" that she may have stolen mail and put it back and that she's better when "I have no idea what I'm talking about" isn't the kind of free speech journalists have fallen on their swords for over the years.

Both of these cases — and countless others — illustrate an unhealthy relationship with cyberspace that I fear is sucking more and more human beings into its grasp. It is hard to sit with teenagers now and actually hold their gaze. They are all fingers and screens and lowered eyelids. And when something awful happens, the first move seems to be to get it up on the Internet — no matter who it might hurt or embarrass — like the recent case of a Canadian teenager who hanged herself after a year of torment, following what her parents said was a gang rape. The alleged attackers posted pictures of the sexual acts taking place. As if the alleged attack weren't enough, the girl had to endure the whole world having access to it.

The perversion of a mind that would do this type of thing is hard to imagine — at least to most people over 25. But then, so is a man who allegedly murders his wife then thinks about Facebook posting.

At some point, all this will explode. At some point, laws will be made — no matter how itchy they make the First Amendment — because something too horrible, too heinous, too disgusting will take place.

If nothing happens, if we merely go on this way, it will mean we have grown used to a world where entertaining the masses is our first impulse, and staring at ourselves is our top compulsion, like Narcissus.

And look at what happened to him.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.

Mitch's Archives