Jan 26, 2006

more on the internet in the religious world

I was just chatting with Ezzie about this and decided to write about here.
Many have discussed the Ultra-Orthodox ban on the internet in lakewood, Israel and other strongholds of the Haredi public, including myself briefly on this site. I have previously written on this, and now wish to add to the discussion some more.

My position on this is that the Rabbis who are against it have no chance of succeeding in accomplishing a full internet ban. The internet is too pervasive in our lives for most people to give up. the internet is too useful in our lives to give up. People pay their bills online, track their bank accounts, trade stocks, do business, communicate with friends and family, use voip telephones, find valuable and pertinent information along with many other uses that improve our daily life and save us time rather than standing in lines and travelling to banks and whatever else. This all in addition to the entertainement factor involved.

Of course there are dangers involved in using the internet. People must be mature adults and use it wisely and avoid the pitfalls (obviously different people will think differently as to what is a pitfall and what is acceptable), but the problems with it are not a good enough reason to throw the whole thing away. Should one not walk down the street because he might see an inappropriately clad woman or advertisement?

Not only is it useful, but as I said it is too pervasive to get rid of. Case in point: The other day I was reading some blogs and I was following links and I stumbled across a very interesting blog (no, I do not remember the name). The blog was written by a Bais Yaakov girl from Lakewood. The posts were very interesting and I noticed that almost every single post had comments numbering in the hundreds!! I followed her links and clicked on some of the names in the comments and was astounded to realize that almost all the names there and all the linked blogs were also Bais Yaakov girls from every part of America. There is this whole blogging thing going on, not just by 30 year olds , but by Bais Yaakov girls! As I said, it is too pervasive to get rid of.

The Rabbonim should accept the fact that the Internet is here to stay. Once they accept that, they can possibly have more influence on helping people improve their use of the Internet, both in time of usage (to avoid addictions) and in content of usage (to avoid inappropriate content).

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