Kelsey Media

Is the Internet or TV worse for your neshama?

27 comments

The Internet may be one of the first things that the Geolim can’t control, the Asifa and their constant banter about the evils that befall us on the Internet remind me of the Haskalah. Television on the other hand was easily banned, for no one could come up with the excuse that they needed it for work. So ostracized is the Television that merely having a TV in your speaks loads about your hashkafa, relegating you to modern orthodox or frum but open minded at best. Movies fall into a middle ground, but we can all agree that movies aren’t as bad for our neshamas as the Internet or TV.

TV is still viewed as evil in the frum community, so much so that many people think TV is worse for you than the Internet, unfiltered Internet that is. I would like to posit that the Internet is far worse for you than TV could ever hope to be, but since TV contains little good and the Internet contains much good mixed in with its bad – we have been convinced that TV is somehow worse for you than the Internet. For the record, the only filter in my household is my wife (she thinks the porn I watch is lame) and this is more of a theoretical post than an actuality. I happen to find TV boring and haven’t had one since moving out of my fathers house 15 years ago.

We can all admit that TV offers mostly entertainment, most of that entertainment is trash that doesn’t teach you much. TV is a brain drain and you are fed garbage without needing to leave the couch or think much. What little good there is on TV is seldom watched, the news is mostly angry propoghanda supporting one side or the other and making everyone afraid of something. The so called “educational” channels like National Geographic, History and Discovery have discarded their worthwhile educational shows in favor of “reality” TV about hicks, rednecks and truckers who like to talk crap about their co-workers.

The Internet is a valuable tool with endless droves of information, socializing, interacting, learning and entertainment as well. But don’t be fooled by all the good that the Internet has to offer. The Internet, unlike TV, has so much evil that it basically erases its uses as a valuable tool. The endless access to porn and sex sites is enough to make any frum person cringe. Facebook is possibly the worst site on the internet with its constant narcissistic and gaivadickism. Facebook is basically a place where one guys to be jealous, attempt to cheat on their wives and brag about their amazing lives – all assur.

I guess what I’m really wondering is whether or not the evils of the internet outweigh the good of the internet. TV, we can all acknowledge is not great for your neshama, but since it’s impossible to unscramble the porn channels and make those TV fantasies a reality it’s not really as bad as the net. I guess this means that the worst thing you can do is watch TV on the Internet.

In the future I should probably write about people who say they don’t want a TV in the house, yet watch dozens of shows online.

 

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget. You can also view tv straight from the internet.

  • jake

    you still get to watch porn?

    • http://www.frumsatire.net Heshy Fried

      As long as I share it with my wife, she thinks I the porn I watch is way too tznius.

      • SG

        Lucky bastard!

      • A. Nuran

        Yeah, the European underage necro clown midget stuff is so fifteen minutes ago.

  • ezzie.g

    I think you are missing major point. I think the rabbis are so against the internet more than tv because the internet provides for the same emotional outlets as life. but more importantly the internet can replace a persons life. with all the depravity in the world people cannot and will not control themselves and to exert control from behind a literal “firewall” is near impossible. the internet isnt bad because of its content IMHO, but rather because of the emotional triggers just using it provides. from the pitfalls of Facebook to ones social skills. to the assurances it gives by opening the doors to hundreds of library of congresses worth of materials. the whole world is literally in your hand with the advent of the smartphone and with google glasses coming out soon who knows where the ultra-connected society will turn.

  • A. Nuran

    TV is completely passive. Everything is done at the pace of the programming. It does not allow you to interact. And the subject matter of TV is usually pretty limited.

    The Internet has many places which are like that, but there is much that is different. Self-paced access and a wide variety of information, interaction and access to any topic imaginable make it a much more useful tool for disseminating information including information on topics which can severely challenge one’s worldview. For that reason the Internet is a greater danger to faith and values, particularly faith based on innocence of alternatives.

    • bratschegirl

      “faith based on innocence of alternatives” is not only a bullseye but a delightful turn of phrase. Well done.

  • http://www.kosherunicorn.com Yisroel

    I think people who make you obsess over the effect of TV and the Internet on your neshama are actually much worse for your neshama.

    – Yisroel

  • Anon

    Did your editor take the day off? Your posts are becoming rife with typos!

    • http://www.frumsatire.net Heshy Fried

      I never had an editor, my posts have always been rife with typos. Comments like yours have been saying this for 6 years, nothing new.

  • Marion

    So frum people can’t love to watch sports on TV? And PBS gets thrown in with the other stations?

    • http://www.frumsatire.net Heshy Fried

      Sports is assur and PBS is anti-Israel

      • Anonymous

        so are you hesh anti-israel, so to the extreme its discussting

        • http://www.frumsatire.net Heshy Fried

          I’m so anti-Israel I don’t say hallel at all on yom ha’atzmaut and I never dress in blue and white.

  • BZ

    The real world is a valuable tool with endless droves of information, socializing, interacting, learning and entertainment as well. But don’t be fooled by all the good that the real world has to offer. The real world, unlike TV, has so much evil that it basically erases its uses as a valuable tool. The endless access to porn and sex is enough to make any frum person cringe. Shul is possibly the worst place in the real world with its constant narcissistic and gaivadickism. Shul is basically a place where one guys to be jealous, attempt to cheat on their wives and brag about their amazing lives – all assur.

  • BZ

    Forgive me if this is a duplicate, but my last attempt didn’t show up.

    The real world is a valuable tool with endless droves of information, socializing, interacting, learning and entertainment as well. But don’t be fooled by all the good that the real world has to offer. The real world, unlike TV, has so much evil that it basically erases its uses as a valuable tool. The endless access to p-rn and s-x is enough to make any frum person cringe. Shul is possibly the worst place in the real world with its constant narcissistic and gaivadickism. Shul is basically a place where one guys to be jealous, attempt to cheat on their wives and brag about their amazing lives – all assur.

  • Reb Yid

    I just don’t get this whole “Internet is bad ” thing. The Internet doesn’t make you watch porn or anything else you don’t want to see. If the problem is people can’t be trusted to have access to porn etc., it seems to me the problem is with the people , not the internet. It’s like tznuius. Frum people need to learn that just because something is available, doesn’t mean you need to access it and it doesn’t mean you not to ban it. Do frum people avoid walking by non-kosher restaurants because they will be so overwhelmed with temptation that they will go in and eat treif?

    • http://www.frumsatire.net Heshy Fried

      Kind of like guns I guess. The internet is the avodah zarah of our generation, but I doubt open miracles would prevent us from watching porn, I mean have you ever seen a women get pounded by a horse – it’s truly fascinating – some say it may even require a bracha on seeing strange people.

      • Reb Yid

        Nice try, not like guns at all. Nobody ever died by looking at the Internet. There’s just this whole tznius thing that is being perpetrated in the frum world that gives people a false sense of religiosity and adherence to Jewish law when this is just an over-blown minor issue. People should just use common sense in matters of modesty and focus on making this a better world for the millions of people who are in desperate emotional, financial or physical situations. That is what Judaism is really all about!

      • A. Nuran

        I’ve seen a woman get trampled by a horse and helped with the First Aid until the ambulance arrived.

        Never seen the other and have absolutely NO desire to do so.

    • Witness

      If you can prevent yourself from doing something wrong, fine. Everyone has free will. But if you find yourself repeatedly overwhelmed with temptation in a certain situation, then you effectively can’t exercise your free will in that situation. In that case, you need to make your decision one step earlier- by avoiding that situation. (I think of it as something like getting drunk- if you can’t stop yourself from beating people up when you get drunk, then you need to stop yourself from ever getting drunk.)
      That’s the idea behind gzerot, I think, and that’s also the idea behind any personal decision to avoid something that would otherwise be permitted. Whether the internet is problematic to the point that EVERYONE needs to avoid it for fear of succumbing to temptation is open to question, but I’m inclined to say no.

  • Anonymous
    • Yaakov

      I think the two are harmful for totally different reasons. Sure there are a few basic similarities, like general exposure to prizus, and the development of an appreciation for anti-torah concepts/activities, but IMHO for the most part it is like comparing gun control to drug criminalization.

  • SG

    What is the difference between porn & sex websites?

  • Portyid

    Do whatever you feel , don’t judge others and mind your own business. Now, I must get back to my show.

  • Anonymous

    The major difference is that you have no control over TV. You have the ability to control the internet.