Is the Internet or TV worse for your neshama?
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.