February 13, 2023 12:09 am at 12:09 am #2165248amiricanyeshivishParticipant
Ashrecha!!February 13, 2023 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm #2165367
“… doesn’t look right for a Ben Torah”
As a Ben Torah, you worry about appearances?February 14, 2023 6:30 am at 6:30 am #2165660
Ben Torah had to worry about consequences. It is called Moris atnFebruary 14, 2023 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #2165839
That’s not what appearances mean in this context.February 14, 2023 8:38 pm at 8:38 pm #2166030LakewoodscoopParticipant
No I work half day and left the main stream yeshiva and learn 3 times a day and don’t always wear a hat and jacket on the street and I wear a gartel. The last thing I’m doing here with my flip phone is for appearances cuz then I would do what all the others do and sit in bmg and “learn 3 sedarim” and just use a flip phone in public but then still use an iPhone in the bedrooms and what they watch! The list goes on!!!February 15, 2023 10:56 am at 10:56 am #2166170
“So you don’t have a life and would spend your time looking at obscene pictures. It’s not for me and it’s not for most people. Only the extremely secular or the extremely religious normalize this garbage”
This comment completely misses the mark. Maybe try to understand people who think differently from you before resorting to insults.February 15, 2023 10:56 am at 10:56 am #2166169
“That’s not what appearances mean in this context”
I think that AAQ is closer to the mark on the context than you are.February 15, 2023 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #2166360
By all means! Please do tell what the counter obsession with the pitfalls of smartphones achieves? All I see is a bunch of people blocking out their surroundings. I don’t realize a difference if it’s by being stuck in technology or stuck being anti technology. Either way, people in today’s day are not really cognizant of what is right in front of them.February 15, 2023 7:21 pm at 7:21 pm #2166361
Quick poll: When you see a real Ben Torah with a smartphone (Imagine the next Reb Dovid Feinstein) what do you think he does with it?February 15, 2023 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm #2166403AviezParticipant
I would not respect such a Rabbe.February 15, 2023 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm #2166410
>real Ben Torah with a smartphone
> what do you think he does with it?
I would first need to know who is BT? (dubious acronym, that I need to clarify with even more dubious: Ben Torah, NOT Baal Teshuva, to which Gerer Rebbe would answer – “why NOT”). I see multiple references to BT – from R Feinstein to R Lamm, but I do not see a clear definition. I am guessing this is a slightly lower level than Talmid Chacham: TC someone who strives to be a full Chacham, but is humble to call himself the one – and BT is someone who seems to claim that his behavior is fully guided by Torah, but not ambitious to become a Chacham? Sort of a Talmid who is on non-degree path?
So, if we were to talk about TC, halakha is clear: you presume the best. So, I would think that his wife is expecting or/and his mother is not feeling well, so he needs a call. Or he is a doctor or a real estate broker and the phone is part of his parnosa, or he is learning off YUTorah site (or is this l’gnai?). Of course, none of this releases him from other halochos – greeting people first, not bumping into them while walking or driving.
So, if BT is a lower level than TC, I am not sure whether we have to give hum same benefit of doubt. Possibly, we give it to TC because he is constantly reviewing his behavior (do not question him in the morning about aveira he did yesterday night, as he surely did teshuva). If BT is not doing that, then he may not deserve the benefit, and if he does – then he is TC!February 16, 2023 11:02 am at 11:02 am #2166557
“Please do tell what the counter obsession with the pitfalls of smartphones achieves? All I see is a bunch of people blocking out their surroundings.”
No, rather it is a bunch of people realizing that they have a choice in what surrounds them. As for what the “counter obsession” has achieved, look no further than the title of this thread. Do you mean to argue that it is worse for a person to make conscious choices rather than unconscious ones, just because you personally disagree with the choices some make?
“I don’t realize a difference if it’s by being stuck in technology or stuck being anti technology.”
It’s not anti-technology. Jews are not the Amish. It’s deciding how best to integrate technology into your life so that your life is enhanced, not distracted, and elevated, not brought down. To make tech your tool, and not be its tool.
Of course I realize that we’re talking past each other here, because we’re making different assumptions. Your assumption seems to be that advocates for filtered smartphones or no smartphones believe most smartphone users will eventually seek out inappropriate images. I don’t think that’s accurate. What I do believe is that, due to how smartphones and the Internet work, a person using an unfiltered or inadequately filtered smartphone has a high probability of unintentionally encountering images they wouldn’t otherwise seek out. Maybe a stock photo on a news article. Or a pop-up ad. Or images associated with clickbait at the end of a news article. And images are just one piece of the puzzle of the challenges smartphones pose.
“Either way, people in today’s day are not really cognizant of what is right in front of them.
Maybe because they’re looking down at their phones? 😛February 16, 2023 11:02 am at 11:02 am #2166558
It’s already Adar where you are??February 16, 2023 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #2166668
Avram, I did not know it ended already! seriously, help me with the definition of “ben Torah” – what is the origin and definition of current usage? Gemora is full of discussions about Talmid Chacham should behave, but what do people say in shidduchim when the question is “is he ben Torah”? And is “bat Torah” a too modern term, or a BY graduate qualifies?
Even with TC, there are some ambiguities – Torah supposed to be founded upon middos and affect them and prescribes behavior standards, but there are Gemoras that imply that one can be an imperfect TC not living up to those standards – se Pesachim 49 – TC glutton, Shabbat 63 – nasty like snake, Taanit 4- angry.February 16, 2023 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #2166688
ok, there is actually bar Torah in Gemora:
Brochos 11 Shmuel to Rav’s son, looks like this is a reference to his father’s sayings.
Sukka 43 – same thing reference to father’s statement
Other references (only one in Gemora not to refer to someone’s actual father) seem to assume, like the posters here, that everyone know what this term means, even as it is pretty rare:
Gittin 62 has a Bar Torah Geneva (??) that Rashi explains as “ben Torah” who seems to like to argue – and has no (R) in front of his name.
More Nevuhim mentions that BT understands that even punishment from Hashem is not “bad”
Mishna Berurah uses the term in passing.February 17, 2023 11:23 am at 11:23 am #2166851
I’m not sure that ranking from better to worse is the right way to compare the terms talmid chacham and ben Torah. Talmid chacham specifically refers to prowess in learning, and I think ben Torah is a broader term referring to a person who makes the Torah his guiding force in life, of which learning is certainly a part.February 19, 2023 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm #2167286
Avram, I am not insisting on ranking, just trying to understand the difference. To get to this –
are there TCim that are not ben Torah? learning well, but sometimes reads newspapers?
are there BT that are not TChim? guided by the Torah but not so good at learning it?February 21, 2023 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm #2167843
“are there TCim that are not ben Torah? learning well, but sometimes reads newspapers?”
I know some. Extremely learned but a terror to their wives and children.
“are there BT that are not TChim? guided by the Torah but not so good at learning it?”
Perhaps, though learning Torah is part and parcel of being a ben Torah.February 21, 2023 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm #2167984
Seems like Gittin 62 revolves around this question – Rav Huna and Rav Ḥisda decide not to stand up for this Rav, who is BT, but still a baal machlokes, but then ask questions and listen to his divrei Torah.February 22, 2023 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #2168230
My point is that instead of saying to stop looking at this or you might see this, it would be better to say put your full attention on what you are trying to be immersed in. I wish people without smart phones would fill the void by being more attentive. But they are just as unaware of their surroundings as when they were phone addicts.February 22, 2023 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #2168265
“My point is that instead of saying to stop looking at this or you might see this, it would be better to say put your full attention on what you are trying to be immersed in.”
That’s nice in theory; however, it ignores the reality of how smartphones and their apps are designed. Google, Apple, Facebook, etc. have a vested interest in users spending time in their apps, viewing as much content as possible, and coughing up personal data. Smartphone apps and Web sites play on human psychology to accomplish this, providing a constant stream of dopamine-inducing stimuli in an easy to carry form factor that also has a lot of useful tools people want available (phone, messaging, flashlight, camera, etc.). A person may intentionally seek out one piece of information, but the app or Web site then throws a ton of unsolicited content back – links to other articles, pictures, etc. So is it really a bad thing that some people would prefer to stay off that battlefield?
“I wish people without smart phones would fill the void by being more attentive. But they are just as unaware of their surroundings as when they were phone addicts.”
This seems rather negative, and doesn’t fit with my own observations. How do you define being “aware” of your surroundings?February 22, 2023 5:51 pm at 5:51 pm #2168297
I’m not disagreeing with anything your saying. Just that once we are fighting this battle it should go much further. Besides technology, there are other things calling for our attention that we should ignore. It’s as old as מצות אנשים מלומדה.February 22, 2023 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm #2168376
Avram > It’s already Adar where you are??
[After taking some time to consider the question] Yes.February 22, 2023 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm #2168379
Avram > ignores the reality of how smartphones and their apps are designed.
Indeed. I first got struck by that when I let my young kid to play an innocently-looking game, and we had to go somewhere, so I asked to play “until the end of this game”, and he replied – “what do you mean, this game does not end”… But this is also true to any other information source: we are currently at disadvantage: information holders, whether game, search engine, Russian hackers, computer shadchanim – all have information about large number of us and can tune their message to convince us.
I see an analogy here with 19th century disbalance between factory owners and workers, leading to a lot of turmoil in society. We eventually overcame this somehow, and not just by unionizing and killing factory owners, although that happened also. Same should happen with information holders – we should make ourselves smarter and stronger.February 23, 2023 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #2168854CoffeeCupParticipant
You can buy a TrippleTell sim that have unlimited SMS but NO dataFebruary 27, 2023 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #2169668
It is obvious to the phone addict that s/he has way too much screen time. It’s not obvious to the kosher phone crusader how much time s/he devotes to a pointless crusade.February 28, 2023 3:51 pm at 3:51 pm #2170016
“It is obvious to the phone addict that s/he has way too much screen time. It’s not obvious to the kosher phone crusader how much time s/he devotes to a pointless crusade.”
False equivalence fallacy. The average American screen time on a smartphone is around 3.25 hours per day, contributing to a total daily screen time just north of 7 hours per day. Do you think the average “kosher phone crusader” is spending that amount of time per day on the crusade?
Also, I have already disputed your contention that advocating for kosher phones, filters, etc. is pointless.February 28, 2023 8:34 pm at 8:34 pm #2170127
When advocating against too much screen time, also advocate for better uses of time in general. Otherwise nobody really improves.February 28, 2023 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm #2170168
n0 > also advocate for better uses of time in general
this is true. Also important what is the trade off between. I believe (meaning read something, but did not check) that there is a general decline in teenage crime & pregnancies attributed to teens spending times on the phone instead of in malls & gangs.March 1, 2023 11:31 am at 11:31 am #2170368
“Also important what is the trade off between. I believe (meaning read something, but did not check) that there is a general decline in teenage crime & pregnancies attributed to teens spending times on the phone instead of in malls & gangs.”
Another false equivalence. There’d be an even bigger decline in teenage crime and pregnancy if humans went extinct. Also, correlation does not necessarily mean causation. Violent crime among youth skyrocketed in the 1980s and early 1990s, but started declining in the late 1990s, well before the first iPhone was introduced.March 1, 2023 11:31 am at 11:31 am #2170366☢️ Rand0m3x 🎲Participant
I don’t have a kosher phone, and I see nothing wrong with that.
I’m not sure what I meant by that – I’ve never owned a smartphone, and I don’t
think I’ve had a cell phone at all since coming back from yeshivah in Eretz Yisrael.
(Perhaps I was waiting for someone to ask so I could say that.)March 1, 2023 11:31 am at 11:31 am #2170363☢️ Rand0m3x 🎲Participant
I first got struck by that when I let my young kid to play an innocently-looking game, and we had to go somewhere, so I asked to play “until the end of this game”, and he replied – “what do you mean, this game does not end”…
(Score-as-much-as-you-can games that end only when a
loss condition is reached go back at least as far as Tetris.)March 1, 2023 11:31 am at 11:31 am #2170362
“When advocating against too much screen time, also advocate for better uses of time in general. Otherwise nobody really improves.”
Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien. Should we stop highlighting the dangers of cigarette smoking because some former smokers may keep drinking? Just because we can’t solve everything does not mean we should do nothing.March 1, 2023 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm #2170393
I’m having a hard time getting my point across. I know former alcoholics who moved on to a new job in a new field who are excelling at what they do. I know three people who kicked their drug habit and became solid full time learners. I know a few kids who gave up their phones and now spend their days looking for drugs, alcohol, or trouble. . But that is not really my point.
I have come across a whole bunch of people who think it is terribly important for me to get rid of my smartphone without knowing what I do with my time. When I confront them with what do they do all day, their answer boils down to not having a smartphone. They will openly say, a yeshiva bachur who barely learns but doesn’t have a phone, is better than a serious masmid that has the internet in his pocket.
My point is that the anti smartphone movement is misguided.March 2, 2023 7:18 am at 7:18 am #2170578
random > Score-as-much-as-you-can games that end only when a
loss condition is reached go back at least as far as Tetris
Right, but that game never ended, no loss condition …March 2, 2023 7:19 am at 7:19 am #2170579
Avram, I am not claiming causation, just claiming seeing a report on that but did not look at what they analyzed. We don’t need to presume that the authors were stupid and do not know correlation from causation, so it stands teiku unless you want to google and read about it.March 2, 2023 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm #2170705
“I know a few kids who gave up their phones and now spend their days looking for drugs, alcohol, or trouble. . But that is not really my point.”
Do you know what motivated them to give up their phones?
“I have come across a whole bunch of people who think it is terribly important for me to get rid of my smartphone without knowing what I do with my time.”
One of my relatives is thoroughly secular, but has the most impressive smartphone discipline I’ve ever seen. She does not check it, but only picks it up when she wants to do something like send a message. Perhaps you are also one of those people with the innate ability to resist the pull. But this is an exception rather than the rule.
I’m also curious about these interactions that you have with the whole bunch of people. Do they accost you and ask if you have a smartphone out of the blue? Do you spend your time with people who don’t like smartphones and pull yours out in front of them? Do you engage in debates with them? I don’t fully understand why smartphones are so front and center.
“When I confront them with what do they do all day, their answer boils down to not having a smartphone.”
Not that they are being polite either, but you are hitting them with whataboutisms, so I imagine they’d get defensive.
“They will openly say, a yeshiva bachur who barely learns but doesn’t have a phone, is better than a serious masmid that has the internet in his pocket.”
They feel an unfiltered smartphone is a spiritual danger, so I’m not surprised by this statement. This may be a clumsy analogy, but how they’re potentially viewing it is: who’s likelier to live a longer life: the guy who sits all day and doesn’t exercise, or the guy who works out 5 days a week, eats a paleo diet, but keeps a rod of plutonium in his pocket?
“My point is that the anti smartphone movement is misguided.”
I wouldn’t judge a “movement” based on some interactions with individuals.March 2, 2023 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #2170735
“We don’t need to presume that the authors were stupid and do not know correlation from causation
I’m not presuming that anyone is stupid. In my own experience with “reading something”, conflating correlation with causation is a pretty common practice, particularly in polemical pieces and news articles, so I felt justified pointing it out.
“so it stands teiku unless you want to google and read about it”
You’re shifting the burden of proof onto me, but I did not make the claim, you did. But I did do a quick Web search and found a news article reporting on a paper by Lena Edlund that posited that cell phone adoption may explain some of the decrease in the murder rate in the late 1990s because it shifted the illegal drug “economy” from mainly street corner dealing to pre-arranged meet-ups at secret locations, which cut down on deadly turf battles. That predates smartphones and has nothing to do with distracted kids though.March 3, 2023 7:36 am at 7:36 am #2170962
> In my own experience with “reading something”, conflating correlation with causation is a pretty common practice, particularly in polemical pieces and news articles,
I would not quote a news article to an esteemed chevra here as a possibility. So, we agree here. I meant that I saw a research paper and scanned it for conclusions, without reading carefully how research was conducted.
Note that google et al personalize your search results based on your history (middah k’neged middah, or they are letting you go where you choose to)… for some reason, I can’t find all these nasty things people here are saying are out there on Internets – what I search for, I got scientific papers as results. (or you can search scholar google com or books google com to begin with)March 3, 2023 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #2171034
“Note that google et al personalize your search results based on your history (middah k’neged middah, or they are letting you go where you choose to)…”
They do a lot more than that.
“for some reason, I can’t find all these nasty things people here are saying are out there on Internets – what I search for, I got scientific papers as results. (or you can search scholar google com or books google com to begin with)”
Can you use your helige search prowess to find the paper you’re referencing and give me some keywords to find it?March 8, 2023 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #2171929Doing my bestParticipant
I was reading this conversation and I was shocked by some of the posts here, does anyone actually believe that from a Frum perspective it isn’t better not to have a smartphone?
Can anyone name a major gadol accepted by all of frum yidden who has/had a smartphone? The answer is obviously no. Why? Because no one would even think of looking at such a person as an Adam Gadol because at the end of the day everyone knows that someone with a smartphone cannot reach too high of a height. (I hope no one says their gadol has one. It would be pretty sad to hear that.)
All the different explanations of why it’s really not so bad to have a smartphone may many times be true, but the fact remains that it’s better without.
People get very lost on the details, but anyone that really honestly thinks about it realizes that when it comes to focusing on Hashem a smartphone is usually a minus. That isn’t to say that it is possible for everyone to not have one, but we should at least be aware that it is not in general a Frumkeit plus.
I will admit that in recent years there has been a growth in Torah oriented online communities -particularly Lakewood WhatsApp- which is very good for many people who would otherwise be mostly disconnected from Torah Yiddishkeit, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that to really put your focus in life on ruchniyus a smartphone is only a distraction.
And by the way, it’s not just smartphones, any internet connection is already a distraction, the more connection, the worse. (For example I just wasted 10 Minutes that should’ve been spent learning to write this:).)March 8, 2023 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #2171930
About bachurim getting into trouble after giving up their phones. Their yeshiva went all in on the no phone holiness. They left some boys with an unfilled void.March 8, 2023 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #2171931
I feel the movement as a whole is misguided. It produces a lot of of very public messaging. The main practical purpose of all their media is avoiding technology. There should be more about what is good discipline. Especially when it comes to using our free time.March 8, 2023 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #2171960
“About bachurim getting into trouble after giving up their phones. Their yeshiva went all in on the no phone holiness. They left some boys with an unfilled void.”
A normal teen deprived of a phone won’t suddenly up and do drugs, alcohol, or other trouble. “They” didn’t leave those boys with a void. The void was already there. I wrote in another thread: there are boys in my neighborhood rocking the latest and greatest iPhones and still doing drugs, alcohol, and trouble.March 8, 2023 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #2171970
“I feel the movement as a whole is misguided. It produces a lot of of very public messaging. The main practical purpose of all their media is avoiding technology. There should be more about what is good discipline. Especially when it comes to using our free time.”
I think the so-called “movement as a whole” disagrees with you on this. I think they’d argue that “good discipline” as you define it is tantamount to fighting a forest fire with a water pistol, and that not purchasing a smartphone at all or filtering a smartphone’s content is good discipline. This post was a recapitulation of our discussion, so we’re now going in circles. But re-reading some posts above, I have a couple more comments:
“It is obvious to the phone addict that s/he has way too much screen time.”
I don’t think that this is true. Some people are painfully aware that they spend too much time on their phones, but their attempts to limit screen time are unsuccessful. What would you tell these people? That they’re failures and need to try harder? That advice would probably cause them to become depressed. Others are completely unaware of how much screen time they use, and get shocked when they view the statistics.
Also – smartphone issues and bitul zman issues are not equivalent as you make them out to be. Sure a Venn diagram would feature some overlap (the guy ignoring his kids and tapping on a phone in his living room in 2023 may have been the guy with his nose in the newspaper or watching TV in 1983), but this is not the sole issue with smartphones. And would you seriously contend that smartphones don’t seriously exacerbate the bitul zman issue? 3.5 hours a day on average.March 9, 2023 4:30 am at 4:30 am #2172034
Doing > Can anyone name a major gadol accepted by all of frum yidden who has/had a smartphone?
Yes, most gedolim miss the unmute button when giving a shmooze on zoom. They know that if you are tool good with zoom, you will not be accepted by “all frum yidden”, maybe just by the rov (like Mordechai).
But, even I – totally not a gadol, and not often accepted by anyone, rarely use phones, and almost never before covid. If someone needs to do work or to write or to search Bar Ilan database, there is a computer for that. If you are so deprived that you can not wait until you get to a computer, and need to punch into a phone with one hand while driving, you are surely not a gadol.March 9, 2023 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #2172410
One thousand percent the void was already there. But the hanhala was told by the technology experts that it is all because of the phone. And they became conditioned to only see the phone issue and not the real issue. It got so bad, that these boys couldn’t ask for help. Some of them even knew that the phone was stopping them from worse things. It was like the biggest mitzva to get the phones out of yeshiva. Even if it killed a whole winter zman and half a dozen bachurim. Thankfully, most of that hanhala is no longer in chinuch.March 9, 2023 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #2172411
My point in the whole argument is, that it comes across that wasting your life without a smartphone is okay. But even if your learning all day, once you have a smartphone you’re doomed.March 9, 2023 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #2172412
I know major mainstream gedolim that had smartphones even when they themselves were involved in the anti technology movement. Almost nobody ever saw their phones. And the content of these phones are much different than your average smartphone, including my own.March 9, 2023 9:25 pm at 9:25 pm #2172449
Avram, here is the process:
search google for: teenage crime cell phones decrease
First link: popular article
The Collapsing Crime Rates of the ’90s Might Have Been Driven by Cellphones
Did technology disrupt the drug game, too? By Alexis C. Madrigal, Atlantic
that quotes this paper with full text available:
It’s the Phone, Stupid: Mobiles and Murder Lena Edlund and Cecilia Machado
NBER Working Paper No. 25883 May 2019
New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. In 1990, they
accounted for 5.6% of the US population but 20% of homicides, and had homicide rates
exceeding not only the national average but also those of other cities. Ten years later, the
country’s three most populous cities looked like any other city, a remarkable convergence
Our main finding is that annual, county-level mortality data for the contiguous US
covering the four decades 1970-2009 lend support to our hypothesis that expansion of
cellular phone service – as proxied by antenna-structure build-out – lowered homicide
AAQ: see table 3-5 where R2 is 70%+, that is linear regression of crime rates by antenna density explains 80% of variation over counties or metropolitan areas.
then go to scholar google com
search for paper title, it will give 11 papers that cite this one\. Most seem not relevant
but this one is curious:
Mobile Network Outages and Violence Against Women: Evidences from Brazil
7 Sep 2022
Antonio Vinícius Barbosa UFPB
Jorge H. N. Viana Department of Economics – UFPB
Using high-frequency data from Brazil, we show that the disruption caused by the mandatory 9-digit dialing transition for cell phone numbers had unintended consequences, increasing hospitalization among women victims of violence. The pattern we observe is consistent with the argument that mobile phones can provide accessibility for women in risky situations while also changing offenders’ perceptions.
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