The Face in the Screen

OK… so your best friend — who works on 47th St. — calls you up to tell you he’s got an incredible deal. An offer you can’t refuse.

Somebody just walked into his office with a stunning 5 ct. stone. Not only that, but it’s already mounted in a “ring-of-rings” original Tiffany setting of 18k gold. And the price is right.

Your friend has been in the business 25 years and never seen a ring like this.

But he’s not finished. Are you ready? It’s not just a ring — it’s TWO rings — a matching set.

There’s only one catch…

The set comes with an unusual clasp. You see, they’re not matching engagement rings.

They’re magnificent diamonds mounted in solid gold … handcuffs.

Would you wear them?

No?

Are you sure?

So why might you be so fast to lock up your hands, eyes, mind, heart and soul with the latest Gold iPhone 5s?

Think I’m exaggerating? This is Apple’s dazzling smartphone with the “empathetic” app called “Siri”— the app that “understands what you say, knows what you mean,

and even talks back.”

Andy Borowitz covered the launch for the iPhone 5s with Siri in The New Yorker:

“In a demonstration before a hushed crowd of Apple enthusiasts, an app developer named Josh asked the new Siri, ‘Why didn’t my parents love me?’

“Siri’s response, ‘Your parents were too self-absorbed and narcissistic to recognize your essential beauty and value as a human being,’ brought many in the Yerba Buena Center audience close to tears.

“Apple C.E.O. Tim Cook closed out the launch with perhaps his boldest claim to date about the company’s new phone: ‘We believe that the iPhone 5 will make your current relationship obsolete.’”

Borowitz ended with a quote from an Apple devotee who was skeptical about the CEO’s claim, but not for the reason you’d think. He said, “Most Apple snobs I know started putting their Apple products before their relationships a long time ago.”

In South Korea, which boasts the world’s highest level of smartphone use, medical experts have discovered a new disease: “digital dementia.” The Korea Joongang Daily says this is “the kind of early onset dementia, or deterioration of cognitive abilities, that usually only comes about following a head injury or psychiatric illness.”

This issue of Hamodia comes with a special supplement — a booklet of cartoons about cellphones — the cells we lock ourselves into, only to find we can’t get back out. The cartoons are humorous. But the message is deadly serious.

There is nothing more disconnected than today’s digitally connected generation; nothing more antisocial than the world of social media, where liking and friending is the only way people click with each other.

Before you smile and dismiss this as one more overzealous reaction, ask yourself, when is the last time you made eye contact with someone who was holding an iPhone or Blackberry?

Pick up your phone now. But stop … before you touch the screen — while it’s still black and you can see the face looking back at you — take a good look. And think.

In the War of 1812, U.S. naval officer Oliver Hazard Perry fought off a British invasion and sent a report to General William Henry Harrison:

“We have met the enemy and they are ours.”

In a 1970 Pogo cartoon, Walt Kelly gave a new perspective:

“We have met the enemy and he is us.”