What's Wrong with WhatsApp?

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  • #617699

    smc
    Participant

    You always hear how gedolim ban WhatsApp. Just an example, is here http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/416310/gur-chassidus-bans-whatsapp—except-to-communicate-with-non-jews-or-irreligious-jews-only-for-business.html

    What is the difference between WhatsApp and regular texting? You never hear of gedolim asuring (banning) texting.

    #1152167

    Joseph
    Participant

    Spreading loshon hora, rechilus and ms’r to many people at once versus one-by-one.

    #1152168

    DaasYochid β˜•
    Participant

    Can be done with group texting as well.

    #1152169

    Joseph
    Participant

    I think WhatsApp makes it easier to mass message. Also supports multimedia and those inherent dangers.

    #1152170

    whattsup is much more updated tech wise then just texting. with sending non kosher pics & other tumah stuff that you wouldn’t be able to send with just a text message

    #1152171

    yehudayona
    Participant

    It’s not true that gedolim don’t assur texting. Kosher phones are voice only — no texting.

    #1152172

    takahmamash
    Participant

    I think all phones should be banned as well.

    #1152173

    Geordie613
    Participant

    The difference with group texting is that when one replies it doesn’t go onto a whole group. Also whatsapp, by default (there are ways to work around this), shows when the receiver reads the message. So you feel pressure to reply immediately, even ?”? during davening, learning or family time.

    #1152174

    charliehall
    Participant

    What’s WhatsApp?

    #1152175

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    WhatsApp is a chatting App

    #1152176

    Poster
    Member

    My personal observation:

    with whatsapp you can send very large video clips that you cant send over a text, some of these clips are even too large for e-mail over the phone. So what happens is, in five minutes you get tens of these clips. When we had whatsapp, we would spend every free minute watching these entertaining clips that were getting passed around. Believe me, they were intersting, from magic tricks, to goof tricks etc.

    We couldnt stop watching, it was like having a TV turned on all day.

    We decided to get rid of whatsapp. It was so liberating.

    we were free.

    texting is quick.

    whatapp is addictive and time consuming.

    #1152177

    Sam2
    Participant

    yehudayona: That was 5-10 years ago. “Kosher” phones now do have texting.

    #1152178

    appdev
    Participant

    People have a choice how to use technology. Just because you are able to send mass messages/videos/pictures does not mean you have to.

    I’m an app developer and I don’t use whats app. I never had a desire to be a part of it. I use google chat, txt, email, and phone calls to communicate (probably in that order).

    Being addicted to anything is unhealthy, whether it’s Alcohol, WhatsApp, Video games, YW Coffee room, etc…

    To address the OP, the Gedolim did ban texting in the past. But as with all bans, they fade over time. (I saw an old ban regarding cassette players when they first came out). Now Whats App is the ‘thing to ban’. Give it a year and WA will be ok and the next thing will be banned.

    #1152179

    People have a choice how to use technology. Just because you are able to send mass messages/videos/pictures does not mean you have to.

    But if you are able to receive them, then you do have

    to receive whatever other people decide to send you.

    #1152180

    appdev
    Participant

    Comlink

    No! That’s exactly what I’m saying. You can choose to open it. If you don’t like wasting time with WA disable notifications and review it once a day.

    Being tied to it and jumping at every message is exactly the problem!

    #1152181

    smc
    Participant

    Thank you everyone for the great reply’s!

    I’m hearing from all the answers, that the main reason is because WA can get addicting due to the fact that you can send larger videos than text/email.

    You can send large videos through email if you use a third part such as dropbox.

    I know that internet was banned. So if you’re not using internet, then you can’t use WA, because as far as I’m concerned it uses internet. So whoever uses WA uses internet.

    If so, what’s the difference between WA and email. According to the reason mentioned above, they can be the same addicting.

    #1152182

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “Kosher” phones now do have texting.

    Kosher “phones” do not have texting. I pay for one.

    #1152183

    Shopping613
    Participant

    I do have whatsapp,I enjoy whatsapp over texting primarily because since you can record your voice I feel like I’m actually having a conversation.

    I think it depends on the person really. Most of the people I hang with don’t have it so I’m rarely on it, but I do know whatsapp is primarily used by the “new generation” and some of the dangers of it are

    – The mass text

    – Anyone with your number can see your photo

    – Mulitmedia

    – Addiction*****

    I know so many people my age (teens, e20’s) with it and they tell me all their friends update their profile picture at least once a week, change their statuses over 5 times a day, and must answet to all their groups and if they don’t they feel they aren’t good enough. Just how people need to be in the latest style. On some level it has aspects to a social media platform and I know many people that ditched for being on for hours…..

    But if you are like me, you know a few people in other countries, a handful of family members- basially enough people that you don’t check it more than one a day-I think you are fine. I personally did not get any useless movies or clips bei g shoved on me on WA. The only thing I get is tehilim requests besides for my personal conversations. So for me-it’s not a problem.

    If you are only getting it from a few people then you could request them to stop so you could use the app how YOU see fit.

    It really depends. But those are just some of the reasnons a general bad was put onto it.

    #1152184

    Shopping613
    Participant

    Whatever apps, internet, or social platforms you have-it doesn’t really matter.

    The ikar is, how is it affecting your life, your ruchniyus? Are you wasting time? Do you even NEED this in your life?

    Everyone is different.

    #1152185

    emails i need to first go into my email then open the right emsil etc… it takes alot of steps before i get to read it or see the video. BY Whattsup i see the video right in front of me right away.

    welcome to the new rushing generation with not even a second to spare

    #1152186

    offbeat2
    Member

    If people rationalize and use WhatsApp INSTEAD of social media, who are they kidding?? is WhatsApp as popular in the secular world as it is in the frum world?

    #1152187

    Utah
    Member

    Shopping is 100% right. One can use Whatsapp in a productive and kosher way. Its like everything else, use it in moderation.

    #1152188

    Poster
    Member

    smc,sending videos through a third party via e-mail is a hassle and time consuming. whatts app makes it really easy to send tens of videos at once.

    These videos are entertaining and addictive. Since we got rid of whatts app, we dont get any videos through third party e-mail. Im totally fine with it, what a waste of time. I feel liberated without whatsapp.

    #1152189

    I have always been amazed at the ability of rebbeim to immediately assume all of the terrible things that will be done with technology. I have done a lot of terrible things in my life but with respect to Whatsapp and texting, the worst thing I have done is curse when I realized that I couldn’t easily contact my siblings who don’t have Whatsapp or texting.

    #1152190

    DaasYochid β˜•
    Participant

    VM, you are not the only person in the world.

    I have been advised by someone involved in phone and computer filtering and monitoring programs that people should stay away from WhatsApp – not because of some theory a rebbe or rav came up with, but based on real life experiences.

    I haven’t used WhatsApp, and don’t know how it works (although some of the posts here are enlightening), but just because some people don’t have a problem with something doesn’t mean others won’t.

    #1152191

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Should we ban the Telephone because of all the Lashon Harah spoken on it?

    Should we ban the Printing Press because of all the Prizus and Kefirah because of it. The Hashkalah would never have occured without the printing press

    #1152192

    DaasYochid β˜•
    Participant

    I’m not talking about banning it, I’m talking about being aware of the issues and making a reasonable choice to avoid it.

    #1152193

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There are issues with almost anything

    I think automobiles cause more accidental deaths than anything else. Should we avoid the car because many people get killed each year

    #1152194

    The little I know
    Participant

    I see no problem with the legitimate uses for it. But we are blinded by another aspect. It is the exception that someone has Whatsapp and spends hardly any time on it. In reality, having this app already robs 1-2 hours a day, at minimum, from one’s day. Our perception of technology as having saved us time is inaccurate. It actually fills much more of our days (and nights) with utter trivia. Just how many of the messages we send or receive daily are important? I estimate that the percentage is somewhere between 5-10%. Is the rest of the time being stolen from our parenting time for the children, taking care of our tasks at home or work? How about bittul Torah?

    At present, I blocked this app on my phone through my filter. I can fathom reasons that are not relevant now to open it, and may do so when it will have legitimate use. Meanwhile, I am way too stingy with my time to the beeps that will apprise me of some foolishness. Humor is wonderful, but it has its time and space.

    For everything else, there is email and a phone number. That has proven to be quite adequate. Technology has served me well, but has often threatened to impinge on my life in too many ways. B”H I have withstood the challenges. I cannot understand why we would take such extensive precautions to protect our valuables but are ready to squander our time on narishkeit.

    #1152195

    DaasYochid β˜•
    Participant

    ZD, it’s about balancing risks/downsides with benefits.

    Would you be in favor of a 120 mph speed limit on side streets, or 5 year olds or seniors with poor reflexes having drivers’ licenses or anyone texting while driving?

    #1152196

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Was the printing Press a Positive or a negative?

    How about the Telephone?

    #1152197

    DaasYochid β˜•
    Participant

    Both.

    #1152198

    mw13
    Participant

    I think everybody should sit down and figure out what it is they they would/do use WhatsApp for. If the majority of time is spent doing productive things (Torah/Chessed/business), beautiful. If the majority of time is spent on at best wasting time, at worst loshon hara, bizuy Talmidei Chachomim, and abizraya di’Arayos, then you have a serious problem…

    (And honestly, which group of people do you think is bigger?)

    #1152199

    Poster
    Member

    I can only speak from personal experience.

    We had whattsap as a family chat, first it was great for sharing pictures and video clips.

    Loads of friends were on our group and we got dozens and dozens of video clips. Fascinating, entertaining and comical. I couldnt keep up watching all of them. I couldnt not watch them, they were so short and easy to just watch one after another. and then of course forward further.

    It wasnt an easy decision to get rid of whatsapp. I justified like all of you, whats wrong, i can do good things with it etc….

    We got rid of it.

    What can I tell you, at first i was bored. I would look at my phone for entertainment, it didnt provide any. Now I see how addicted I was.

    #1152200

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    is the majority of people speaking on the phone learning torah/Chessed or Business, or does it involved Loshon Harah, Nivel Peh , abizraya di’Arayos

    And which group do you think is bigger?

    is the majority of Printed Materials Torah related or Kefirah, Prizus nasrishkeit and other things

    Which do you think is bigger?

    #1152201

    DaasYochid β˜•
    Participant

    ZD, we can’t choose to uninvent the printing press or the phone or WhatsApp. We can choose, based on balancing the positives and negatives, how much and in what ways to expose ourselves to these technologies.

    #1152202

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    For the record I do not use Whats Up, but my point is any technology has good and bad and banning it really is silly because people who want to do things against the torah will find another way to do it

    Is Whats App easier to spread Loshon Hara than a Telephone, Probably very similar

    #1152203

    DaasYochid β˜•
    Participant

    Probably easier with WhatsApp.

    #1152204

    Hashemisreading
    Participant

    I think the biggest problem with WhatsApp is all the posting. People cant keep their pictures to themselves, they need to show it to everyone to get validation. so unhealthy and really bad for self esteem.

    #1152205

    Shopping613
    Participant

    DaasYochid-like I and other stated above it depends on the person. Not everyone is getting these videos. In fact I had not heard of the short “addictive” clips until opening this thread. Over the 2 years I have gotten WhatsApp I think I have seen perhaps 5-10 vidoes/clips.

    Putting a big ban on it is not the right way. Everyone has different things that help them, they need and work for them.

    #1152206

    smc
    Participant

    ZD, I don’t really get your point. Because we do have a printing press, and because it isn’t banned, does it mean you should go to the store and buy non kosher magazines? We can rationalize it by saying, the printing press isn’t banned, so it must be okay.

    Of course the best thing to do is not involve ourselves with Loshon Harah, Nivel Peh, etc. etc. But it’s easier said than done. So the way to get to the ultimate level, is by slowly making your boundary’s bigger and bigger.

    With so many things, there are good and bad. The internet for example, has many, many good things. There are many shiurim you can download. You can do chesed. BUT, the bad definitely outweighs the good by far.

    Is it easy to say one day, “I won’t use the internet anymore at all for any purpose!”? Of course not! That would be pretty hard to do! So the solution is to add a filter, then make it strong and stronger, and hopefully to just block everything.

    #1152207

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    SMC

    You obviously missed the point, the Bans are useless. technology is moving ahead whether you like it or not. Did you know the Chofetz CHaim would learn by candlelight and refused to learn by electric light. I dont see anyone advocate doing that.

    You have to learn to live with these things. We are not going back to a life of Subsitance Farming ,riding Donkeys , and sending messages by Horses.

    Any technological advance has good and bad and Ive heard people call a smart phone “Avodah Zarah”.

    I used the phone and printing press to show devices that are accepted that have caused much damage. It was the printed word that allowed Kefira to be spread. No filter prevented this Kefira from being printed. So you ban WhatsApp, people can just go back to the phone and talk Loshon Harah. If someone wants to do an Averiah they will find a way. No bans are going to stop them

    #1152208

    writersoul
    Member

    I’ve never really understood this at all. If you have a smartphone, WhatsApp is far from the worst thing you can get on it. Does it override the internet filter or something, maybe?

    I like WhatsApp a lot because I like the voice message feature and the group feature, but it is frustrating that it requires internet, so I generally limit my use of it to the groups I’m part of. You don’t need to put up a picture or a status (I haven’t changed either of mine since December) and it’s a tool, like anything else, that can be used well or ill.

    #1152210

    Mammele
    Participant

    ZD: I don’t generally agree with outright bans, and Telegram is probably a lot worse than What’s App, but at least I understand the reasoning when it comes to this type of technology. Years ago, if someone wanted to read kefira, for the most part they knew when they took the book into their hands what they were getting into. Compare that to an App like What’sApp, very often one doesn’t know the point of a clip until they actually watch it.

    Same with gossip etc. It’s not like everyone is looking for it, but if it comes one’s way, human curiosity gets the better of most of us and we read/listen. We become exposed to much more than we would without. Also, the good old telephone doesn’t come close to reaching as many people this quickly, as Internet chat does.

    And partly because of this “instant world” we live in, unfortunately many people are careless and repost things they shouldn’t without batting an eyelash. A lot of us have literally become numb to bad exposure and distasteful stuff and don’t realize what’s wrong anymore. I’m not talking only about the major aveiros, but simply insensitive clips of someone slipping on ice, kids singing off-key, a teacher’s lesson gone bad etc.

    However, having said all this, we really need more positive reinforcement, mussar & Yiras Shamayim to combat bad influences and hopefully get our sensitivity back.

    #1152211

    Joseph
    Participant

    Mammele, why is Telegram worse than WhatsApp?

    #1152212

    yehudayona
    Participant

    ZD wrote, “I think automobiles cause more accidental deaths than anything else.” He’s wrong. For adults in the U.S., the biggest cause of accidental deaths is drug overdoses.

    #1152213

    writersoul
    Member

    Joseph: Telegram is completely encrypted. Actually, now that I think about it, WhatsApp now is as well.

    #1152215

    Mammele
    Participant

    I’m not comfortable providing that type of information. It can be a real michshol

    #1152216

    Joseph
    Participant

    ws: encryption makes no difference regarding the topic at hand – unless one engages in criminal conduct.

    #1152217

    Mammele
    Participant

    Mods: IIRC I’ve avoided mentioning this in the past and I understand, but really my problem is with some Rabbonim’s short-sightedness. Basically by banning What’s app because it’s a popular heimish chat option with video capabilities, they’re sending people from the frying pan into the fire. People switch without knowing all the details — they just want good group chat — but eventually many discover that it does more than they bargained for. If they’d just ban ALL video capable sharing Apps, they’d at least spare those that comply this trouble. Because new technologies and Apps crop up every day, and it’s impossible for them to keep up. Usually they’re a couple of years late. End rant.

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