Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stop The Charade

I know, I know- a post with this title can go many many ways...especially coming from a cynic living in Brooklyn.
However, today I have chosen the topic of the Internet...yet again.

Ask anyone in Lakewood willing to admit he has the internet-- his response? "I need it for business." Riiight, so you learn full-time, but you need it for "business."

Why won't people just admit that the internet is pretty much a necessity?!?!

No stupid charades about needing it for business. Whom do you think you're fooling? You need it, you need it. Nobody should harass you about it.

Saying that nobody should have the internet because of the porn and other unsavory things available is like telling a guy he can't go to Shoprite because he may be overcome with a craving to try Hormel Chili.

I understand, yes, the internet is a threat. Even a recent issue of Redbook credited the boom in the porn industry to the internet.

Anyone who has internet in their house HAS used it for purposes other than business. Shopping, recipes, e-mail, general research. There are many clean, innocent uses for the internet.

Why is that so hard to believe??
Why do people assume that someone who has the internet in his home is -- or will become --a porn addict?!

These wives in Lakewood have every right to use the internet. I'm sure online shopping is a tremendous relief for those with full work schedules and B"H children who are quickly outgrowing their clothing.

Not that I'm too hot on matching outfits, but imagine how much easier it is for the typical working mother in any frum community to be able to buy all the kids' clothes at once, rather than going to the store to find they have Shloime and Rivky's sizes, but not Yankel's and Devorah's?

Then there are the new comings of "KosherNet" - hopefully a little more foolproof. If that helps, Kol HaKavod.

Yes, having the Internet at home can make porn more accessible. I am not singing the praises of the Internet (although I could, if you'd like me to) I'm simply saying that people should stop making believe that they only have it for business. They don't. And that's OKAY!


At 9/14/2008 1:59 PM, Blogger The Babysitter said...

I've been thinking the exact same thing! Couldn't have said it better!

At 9/14/2008 8:15 PM, Anonymous big bro #2 said...

First off, I would change the sentence to "Who do you think you're fooling?"

Anyway, to me the greater issue is the double standard that TV is absolutely, under all circumstances ASSUR while the 'net gets somewhat of a free pass. After all, many yeshivos will ask if you have a TV in your home, but won't inquire about the internet.

It's a greater issue because for the most part, the 'net has a lot worse stuff on it than TV, and besides, you can watch most shows on the 'net anyway (just go to and see what I mean), so the whole thing makes no sense.

And what if you need the TV for business? What if you deal stocks for a living and need CNBC? What if you're a sportswriter and need ESPN? Yet no one would get a pass for that.

I disagree in the sense that the internet is a necessity. Plenty of people live fine without it. It's no more a necessity than a TV is. The only difference is that for some odd reason, a double standard exists that makes it okay to have the internet but not a TV.

At 9/14/2008 8:21 PM, Blogger The Babysitter said...

big bro #2: That is very true, I was actually just talking about that with someone. How you can watch everything online, but yet a TV is considered so bad. I guess the reason is because a TV has no other purpose besides for watching. While the internet wasn't created to watch shows.

At 9/15/2008 6:20 AM, Anonymous Jessica said...

It's not a TV... it's a "video machine" used to watch videos that were originally on tv/in theaters.

At 9/15/2008 6:34 AM, Blogger The Babysitter said...

Jessica: video machines are ok for them.

At 9/15/2008 2:41 PM, Blogger Kaila said...

i have yet to hear one person say the internet is assur and anyone who has it is a porn watcher. can we not lump things into extreme categories?

seriously, i haven't heard it.

also, there are men in lakewood who *gasp* WORK! so they need it for business. wow.

At 9/15/2008 8:32 PM, Anonymous big bro #2 said...


The argument that a TV is just for watching is faulty. What are the kosher uses fpr the 'net? Shopping? What if I use my TV to shop (QVC)?

Parnassah? Again, some people's parnassah may dictate having a TV.

News? So it's okay to have the 'net because of kosher news sites like Yeshiva World. By that logic, if a kosher news channel were created for TV, would it then be muttar?


At 9/15/2008 8:51 PM, Blogger The Babysitter said...

Big bro #2: Kosher uses for the net? so many, there are so many sites with dvar torah's, shiurim, kosher entertainment, everything, it's a whole world of information.

I wrote a post about why TV isn't good based on a secular approach, one site found it and even linked to it which was surprising. So there are other faults to TV which aren't Jewish related. But based on the Jewish reasons, the basic free TV that people would have wouldn't let them shop. How often do people watch news already? they can listen to that on the radio.

If they made a channel on TV that was kosher and Jewish then perhaps it would be allowed, if there was no way to access the other channels.

Also, the thing is, like I said before Internet at first did not have a way to watch TV it's only recently that this developed.

But anyways, I do agree with you on your point.

At 9/16/2008 7:42 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Babysitter- actually, aside from Friday nights, my parents hardly ever miss the news. Either 10 or 11, they're there. Yes, people watch the news.

Kaila- the general feel- especially from what I hear about Lakewood, how kids are turned down if they hear there's internet in the house. Even in Brooklyn, they ask parents if there is internet in the house on an interview for Yeshiva. Clearly, it's on their minds, and countless rabbanim have spoken out against it

At 9/16/2008 7:48 AM, Blogger The Babysitter said...

Michelle: Right, adults may watch the news, the concern is with the children.

I do agree that the TV isn't altogether bad and that there can be good uses for it. I was just trying to come up with a reason of why people are more ok with internet than TV.

In my house we have internet but no TV. We used to have a TV when I was younger, but then we got rid of it.

At 9/16/2008 8:04 AM, Anonymous big bro #2 said...


If indeed the yeshivos are asking about the 'net, then at least I'll give them credit for consistency. For that reason, I respect the Jewish organizations that refuse to have websites out of principle.

And Babysitter, I disagree. Even if there are a kosher channel, and even if there was no way to get the other channels, yeshivas would still have a problem with TVs.

At 9/16/2008 8:30 AM, Blogger The Babysitter said...

big bro #2: But they don't have problems with a VCR, which is exactly that, a way to get kosher channels on a TV without access to other channels.

At 9/16/2008 5:59 PM, Anonymous big bro #2 said...

Not true. A friend told me his daughter's school asked him about having a TV and/or a VCR, but made no mention of the internet.

At 9/16/2008 7:24 PM, Blogger The Babysitter said...

big bro #2: Ok, interesting. Well I guess because a VCR can be used for other movies too.

Anyway I don't disagree with your point.

At 9/19/2008 1:53 PM, Blogger Kaila said...


obviously i've heard that people consider internet assur. i've never heard that statement lumped with "whoever uses it is for porn."

actually, i've read a similar statement in new york magazine in an article about a formerly religious satmar woman. i don't think the article accurately represents any frum mentality out there.

seriously, are we so stupid that's all we think the internet is for?

At 9/22/2008 7:34 AM, Blogger SemGirl said...

Michelle, when are you posting again..

At 9/23/2008 7:57 AM, Blogger halfshared said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9/27/2008 11:02 PM, Anonymous frumsatire said...

Just put the computer in a public place in the house. I wouldn't be caught dead looking at porn in public - but throw me in yichud with the computer and well you know how it goes.


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