iPhone-using rabbi blames Apple for ungrateful iSociety

Nov. 21, 2011 at 3:01 PM ET

An iPhone-using religious leader is blaming Apple gadgets for shaping a society in which we focus on material possessions and ego instead of true happiness. That's certainly a bit ironic, but his overall message hits quite close to home for some of us — especially as we prepare to celebrate a holiday that focuses on giving thanks for the important things in our lives.

The Telegraph reports that Lord Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, addressed the values of a "consumer society" during an interfaith reception recently. He explained that he feels most people are finally "looking for values other than the values of a consumer society," which is fortunate because those values "really aren’t ones you can live by for terribly long."

He clarified further:

The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets, iPad one and iPad two, and the result is that we now have a culture of iPod, iPhone, iTune, i, i, i.

When you’re an individualist, egocentric culture and you only care about 'i’, you don’t do terribly well.

The reason we don't do well in such a culture, according to Lord Sacks, has to do with our tendency to become hyper-aware of the things we don't have — such as certain shiny new gadgets — instead of simply sitting down and being thankful for what we do have.

One of the examples Lord Sacks provided when it came to such behavior is the strange attitude some of us — yours truly included — have in relation to the iPhone. It somehow doesn't feel good enough to have an iPhone — we instead feel that we must have the latest and greatest model. But that new little gadget won't genuinely make us happy, now will it?

There's something to chew over while preparing your Thanksgiving feast.

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