Cell phones for children (or parents)

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    How does any father or mother honestly expect their children to be frum yiden if they hand them their own personal tool of the yetzer hora? Why does a boy or girl need a cell phone if not to have their own # and their own “friends” who can lead them astray? The entire taiva is from the yetzer hora. You really want to be responsible for your child getting addicted to:

    – Sending unclean text’s to who knows who?

    – Being called by new “friends” in the middle of the night (or during seder) to go explore pritzus places?

    – Surf the web for objectionable pictures and video’s?

    – Lay around in their dorm bed or the bathroom all day talking or texting to who knows who, instead of keeping to the seder?

    If you think you can bypass any of this by getting him a “kosher phone” with a “hechsher”, your a fool. Once a kid is told by the parents they can have a phone, they will very soon make sure to upgrade to a phone with all the abilities on their own without telling you. It’s not a matter of trust. It’s a question of taking your head out of the sand and being honest and recognizing the truth.

    The truth is, most parents should not have a cell phone at all. Parents are also susceptible to the yetzer hora on all these issues. Plus what kind of a role model are you being by showing your children that you walk around with it all day while they aren’t supposed to?

    A parent and a person for himself, should have some backbone and not simply follow what “everyone else” is doing. Be honest with yourself and your family, and make the choices you know deep down are right. Cell phones are wrong plain and simple for so many reasons.



    There are plenty of reasons for kids to have cell phones.

    In fact, not everyone who has a cell phone uses it improperly.

    Teach your kids to behave properly, teach them boundaries, establish a loving, trusting relationship with them and set them up to succeed.


    SJS- Well said. Nothing is made BAD. It all depends on how it is used.



    WOAHH, pick your battles! To say that parents should not have cell phones is both unnecessary and unreasonable. As for parents having cell phones being a bad role model: I disagree, for they can simply tell their children that it is a privilege that comes with age.

    I agree with you that young children should not get their own cell phone;I think 11/12th grade is the “appropriate” age to allow a child to get a cell phone, and texting only after high school.

    However, you mentioned cell phones in dorms: If you trust your kid enough to send him away from home where he can get into all sorts of trouble (even with all the supervision they have there) then you have to trust him with a phone too.If you give him the phone and tell him that you’re trusting him, and have a loving relationship with them like SJSinNYC said, then this should make them feel guilty of abusing their phone. If the kid doesn’t have a kosher phone, just don’t get him a data plan for his phone: he won’t be able to surf online from his phone for it will cost an arm and a leg and you should tell him upfront he’ll have to pay the price.

    Sister Bear

    I don’t think you could just make a blanket statement that all kids do improper things with their phones. I personally have a phone with unlimited texting, and I never texted people whom I shouldn’t be, I don’t give out my number to people who I don’t know. I turn off my phone at night… and I have a bunch of friends who do the same, in fact I have more friends who have used their cell phone properly than people who haven’t.

    Judge each kid by them self.


    My son did not get a phone until he was in Bais Medrash. And as far as “teaching proper boundaries”, believe me, SJS (and I think 90% of the CR will back me on this one) a bochurs judgement at 2:00am is not the same as it is at 2:00pm (and the AM hours are when many teens are up and about).

    Putting a phone in a teens hands is like handing a person with a temper a pistol. True, not all temper-given people commit murder, and not all calm people will always walk away from a tense situation, but if I as a parent can help my son make the decision to stay above water, I think I should.

    Just like, as a good parent, I should encourage good study habits, (and make sure the environnment he is in is one conducive to good study habits) I should also see to it that, to the extent possible, his ruchnius environment is just as conducive to success


    “and the AM hours are when many teens are up and about).’

    Boy oh boy – not MY teens, when they were teens. Don’t parents believe in curfews anymore????



    More kids and adults have used cell phones and their personal private internet devices for no good than you may think or care to believe. I myself don’t carry a cell phone and have never missed it. I have children of all ages and not one of them ever had a cell phone NOR EVER COMPLAINED they were missing out on something. They were never taught by parents example in my case to feel the “need” to have one.

    to say have a loving, trusting relationship with your kids and then give them a device of unlimited temptations is ridicules. If a kid has a phone with all the bells and whistles (or even a plain cell phone) the natural curiosity and possibilities will be explored. Why do this to your kids? What do you as a parent hope to gain from putting your children in the path of problems, addictions, perverseness and dangers?

    Why is it going too far to suggest that adults not carry cell phones with them? since when did growing up mean that an adult has no temptations or yetzer hora’s? since when did becoming an adult mean that one can openly defy avoiding nisyonos? Why is it ok for adults (parents and rebbeim and teachers) to not make a good example of themselves and at least not use the cell phone in public. Owning a cell phone is openly saying “I can hide myself in a bathroom anytime I want and go on the internet and surf every pritzusdik site I want plus privately contact anyone I want without reservations”. The very possibility of this is unacceptable for a ben torah or his family.


    Oomis, cell phones you preach to trust them with but being up and about at 1 AM you agree you cannot trust them with…


    Maybe I’m just too cheap to pay for internet on my cell phone LOL.

    I don’t think comparing a cell phone to a loaded gun is a fair statement. Leaving internet aside (its really easy to block internet on phones), in order to text or call someone, you need their number. So in order for someone to do something wrong with their phone, they need some way to figure out a persons number AND call AND have a willing accomplice.

    I personally like having a cell phone in case of emergency. While I am at a desk most of the day, I do go out to various power plants. I want to be reachable if someone needs me.

    I never said cell phones ar ethe greatest thing to give a teenager. I personally got on when I was 21 – long after all my friends had them.

    But if you teach your kids to use tools properly, and take basic precautions (like disabling internet) then your kids should be fine. They can make the same phone call from a pay phone…

    This has become a society of “restrict everything you can think possibly may cause someone at some point eventually to possible think about almost doing something that may slightly be inapprorpiate.” There is a limit – we need to balance chinuch with trust. Know your child.

    My mother’s mantra – she always told us that she trusted us and we didn’t want to lose that. My mother had minimal, fair rules for us and we followed them. Obviously, this won’t work for all kids, but know your child. If they are the suspect for these types of problems, give them a different set of rules. But please, set them up to SUCCEED so that they gain confidence in themselves and know they can overcome challenges.


    Helpful says: “cell phones you preach to trust them with but being up and about at 1 AM you agree you cannot trust them with…”

    If I can trust my kids at 9 a.m., I can trust them at 3 p.m. or 8 p.m. or 3 a.m. Either you trust your kids or you don’t. I know my kids, I know their friends, and I know every name on their phones.


    Several points to address:

    Oomis – think dormitory and camp. In fact, things got so out of habnd in one camp (with boys staying awake until dawn) that they forbade mid-day naps (which is what the boys were doing, to have the strenght to stay awake). The senior staff (being heads of household) made night at 11:30 or so, and shortly there after, the boys were free to roam.

    SJS – OK, maybe the pistol is too harsh a comparison. Lets go with what R’ Matisyahu Solomon said,

    “We understnd the need to drive a car. But society understands then need to regulate this. That’s why there are age limits, speed limits, lane restrictions, ect. Internet needs the same control.

    My wife / boss help to keep my web habits in check. Who controls my kids habits? Answer: Parents. Will he / she eventualy be self-monitored? Of course. But in the meantime, I need to set limits

    the payphone option is not nearly as practical or private as a cell phone in your pocket. And while I trust my kids not to drive down to Atlantic City, beacuse they can weight the risk / reward ratio (just like we adults do) putting web / texting in their pocket, is way too tempting. And trust me, at 2:00am, men are not thinking rationaly. The web is a vital part of daily life, but it needs control.

    Mamash – My son said hello to someone in shul (lets call him Duvie) who I did not know. When asked, he said, he knows him from the Thursday Nite cholent bar, thru his roommate who was in camp with him. This camp was 100s of miles from where we live, and now he knows someone I never met. Now, all of Duvie’s friends just became my sons friends. How? via texting.. from the comfort of his dorm or bus or waiting in the dentist’s office.

    Today’s kids have a social network we adults can’t even fathom.


    What in the world is so bad if a kid uses a payphone to call someone? Why should a kid or an adult be taught to feel that he or she is too good to use a payphone for a phone call when they are away from home? when I was a kid, that’s all we ever used and we never dreamed we were missing out. We felt privileged that we got to use the payphone when we had our turn.

    If a person complains that the payphone doesn’t afford enough privacy, then you have to wonder, what kind of a call is the kid or adult making that they are scared someone might overhear? Calling any normal call (parents/broker/bank/harmless amusement/etc) should not be a matter of national security that the person should be paralyzed with fear that someone might have an interest to overhear. I remember using payphones when I was involved in dating in yeshiva and found it very comfortable. The very need for utmost privacy for phone calls goes towards my concerns that kids (or adults) shouldn’t have cell phones in the first place.

    Besides, payphones are set up everywhere still. There isn’t a decent yeshiva/ Bais yaakov or Camp that doesn’t make sure to have plenty of payphones available for their children. Plus I see them all over the streets and every public location. Obviously, many people are still using payphones. Why must frum yiden be too good to simply also utilize payphones?



    First of all – Most ppl, myself included, like privacy when calling parents or friends. I dont need evryone hearing evry story and issue i discuss with them; and i like some peace and quiet wen im on the fone, its hard to hear ppl wen ur in public.

    Secondly – my high school and yeshiva and camp DO NOT have payfones (obviously because they know most ppl have cell fones)

    But i do agree with many things that people are saying that many kids and bochrim cannot be trusted with cellphones and ther really isnt even a need for them, but then again some ppl can


    Oomis – teens usually do NOT hav curfew anymore. none that i know and yes i AM up in the AM hours every night as most of my friends are


    MAMASHTAKAH- i am close with my parents, very trusted, and know people that are even closer and YOU DONT KNOW everything about you kid!! dont ever be mistaken and think you do unless theyr in ur site every second..

    I would hereby like to GUARANTEE the you DONT know your kid, you DONT know their frinds, and you probably DONT know every name on their fone.

    and in the AM hours it gets boring and i am a teenager, i know, ther are people that u can trust during the day but people are very different at nite!! (but no i do NOT believe in any curfew!) BP TOTTY sed it perfectly “at 2:00am, men are not thinking rationaly”


    I feel that if you dont need a cell phone it’s definitely not a good idea to have one. Its just such a distraction to everything you do.

    If for safety or extenuating circumstances, you feel you need one, simply get a cheap prepaid or pay-as-you fone. Otherwise, just use a different fone to speak to the people you need to, there are always fones around that u can use IN PRIVACY. If ppl need to be able to reach you then, like i said, get a prepaid and when you see people call you, call them back on a different phone.

    Obviously, parents and working individuals may need to have cellphones, so have them. But there’s no need for your teenage (or often younger!) son or daughter be constantly texting their friends. When they need to reach friends or be reached, there are usually simple enough ways to do it without having a cell phone


    When I was in high school, cell phones were just coming in vogue. I many girls travelled to school (about an hour commute) and those that drove had cell phones. I think its important if your child is driving to have a way to call someone in case of emergency. Even at 16.



    Which high school, Yeshiva and camp do you go to that doesn’t have payphones? It’s very uncommon for such places to not make payphones available.

    I can’t get over how teenagers constantly say they need a cell phone for safety and security reasons. Teenagers are known to live as if they are immune to virtually anything. That’s not an insult to teenagers. It’s a simple fact of life. for a teenager to think he’s not safe without haveing the security of a cell phone with him makkes you wonder where exactly is the kid going and at what times that he or she actually needs the dependency of an emergency cell phone in case “things get out of hand”?

    Maybe giving them the illusion of security and connection to thier private network of friends is ironically the most dangerous thing to give a child (or any adult for that matter).


    While it is true that there is no need for a teenager to have a phone, it is the norm in today’s society and not giving it to them will often put undue stress on the parent-child relationship. That said, giving a child a phone with internet is inexcusable and downright stupid, and monitoring who they are talking to/texting is also highly advisable.

    Sister Bear

    2morecents –

    – first of all payphones are becoming less and less common because having cell phones is becoming the norm (and yes that does include school too.)

    – second of all, if it gives them a sense of security, why do you want to take that away? If it gives someone a sense of security to hold a gun (or on the iphone they have this app that you could get that sounds like you are cocking [is that the right word?] to scare people off) or whatever, then why take that away?

    Yes unfortunately we live in a world that is more unsafe than it used to be. Let them. And no, kids aren’t always only doing bad things. If I feel safer walking the streets of NYC with a cell, why not? It’s not bad, or whatever.

    – thirdly, yeah its not a necessity to own a cell phone but its a major plus and help.

    As for parents…well if you feel you don’t need a cell phone then kol hakavod but it’s not practical for many others. And no, parents don’t need to have a cell phone with internet.

    You seem very against cell phones for whatever reason. I’m sorry you don’t see the good also. And I’m sorry you don’t trust kids (or even adults) While many kids adults may do bad things on their phone, a lot don’t.


    BTW, which school these days have pay phones in them?


    I want to read this but every post is half a page long. It’s especially hard to read like this on a blackberry.


    Ironic that so many people believe that by giving kids a cell phone they somehow have protection from all harm while it’s the very act of having a cell phone that puts them most in harms way.

    For an adult to believe that carrying a cell phone gives them safety and security (There’s an app for making a gun sound) is just too stupid to comment on. Where is it brought down that carrying a cell phone is a shmira? How will it protect you from being mugged or being run over by a bus or getting in a car accident? To the contrary, driving while talking / texting is very unsafe. walking while on the phone makes you much less aware of your surroundings and people nearby which makes you all the more vulnerable to being mugged or getting run over.

    I’ve never seen a yeshiva or camp that doesn’t have many payphones available for the kids. They are very available in schools and camps. Primarily because 99% of all camps and schools understand that cell phones are a very unhealthy thing for the kids to have and they make it their business to have an adequate # of payphones available.


    aries2756 – i teach in a high school that used to have a pay phone. Now they have a regular line and the students pay a certain amount, (just for the upkeep of the phone itself and it’s bills). The students are not allowed to learn how to drive, not even in 12th grade (and it’s NOT a chassidish school.) they are not allowed cell phones. I can’t say the students like the rules, but if you’re coming to this school, you comply with the rules. (i don’t see why you need a cell if you don’t drive, unless you live far and have to travel by bus or train.)


    as far as needing a cell or not, it’s really according to that- the need. Some young couples i know , share a cell because of the extra expense, as the family grows they probably will get one. Today it’s become a need. Lets just remember what are wants and needs. I think that today cells with all this extra stuff on is really unnecessary. Maybe if someone needs it for their work, ok but it’s become a bit out of hand.

    Truthfully, what does a 14 year old kid who can’t even drive need a cell for? (not even talking about an iphone, ipad, itouch…whatever else) what did people do just 15 years ago before cells became so popular. Anyone here remember car phones? People lived without it, and they were fine.


    sisterbear –

    “And I’m sorry you don’t trust kids”

    chazal tell us “?? ???? ????? ?? ??? ????” that’s not even talking about kids! to adults! unfortunately adults also get into trouble on the internet, and kids, well, they’re kids and they have to be taught. you don’t hand a kid a cell with internet access and say, well i trust him/her, they wont do anything stupid or inappropriate.


    2morecents –

    its irrelevant but ur arguing with fact – as many of us have stated, many if not most schools and camps nowadays do NOT have payphones (cuz everyone has cells available).

    secondly, i usually dont like responding to stupid sarcastic comments, but there is a safety aspect to having a phone. NOT a shmira (as if you thot thats what people were saying). When your kid isnt home when you expected them to be, you can call them on their CELL fone and find out watsup.. thats clearly SAFETY. And when ur sixteen yr old gets into a car accident or gets mugged, wouldnt you like them to be able t contact you and the police within seconds? those few moments could e the difference between life and death.

    Now I’m with you on believing that many kids that have fones now shouldnt, but the CR members dont appreciate “stupid” (in ur lashon) comments.


    Dovy, I agree, cell phones are immediate communication when a child is in trouble, or a wife/husband parent, etc. But there is a right and wrong time for it. I don’t believe that a 12 year old should have one. I do believe that a person should not get into a car without one. Just as driving is a privilege and not a right, having a cell phone is a privilege and not a right. And one can monitor a child’s use as well. If YOU are paying the bill, and your child is taking advantage, YOU have the responsibility and the RIGHT to take the phone away or shut it down.

    As far as judging an adult’s use of a cell phone, that falls into the same category as judging an adult for anything else one doesn’t approve of as far as others are concerned. There are many other things that fall into that category which have already been hashed through on these blogs such as internet, TV, bungalow colonies, swimming with your wife, etc. Again, personally IMHO, I feel that if a person wants to ask a question in regard to their own situation “I am considering giving my child a cell phone, what is the general opinion…..” then I feel these discussions are useful and helpful. But when someone starts a thread to knock others who are doing things THEY don’t approve of I believe it is counter productive to the concept of ahavas yisroel. Please remember we are in the chodesh of Elul preparing for the Yomim Noraim. Let’s keep our discussions in that vein.


    Sof Davar – different schools have different rules and when you enter a school, you agree to follow their rules no question about it. I don’t know any High School that allows cell phones. If you come with a phone, you are supposed to turn it off and leave it in your locker. We have already had this discussion here on this blog. However, most schools no longer have pay phones because they don’t want to underwrite the costs. They also don’t allow kids to come in to use the school phone unless it is a real emergency.

    As far as driving is concerned. There are suburban schools that offer driver’s ed more readily because it is more necessary in those locations and then there are city schools that have no real reason to do so especially when the parent body are not pushing for it. So when a community allows the kids to drive at 16 and 17, those schools, yes those yeshivas will offer drivers ed at an earlier age and it is up to the parents to decide whether they will allow their kids to take it or not. Personally I did not allow my kids to drive till they were 18. Schools in city areas that have busses on every corner and trains readily available as well as three or four shuls on every block and a grocery/bakery on every corner will not offer the course.


    Aries – Your last paragraph is so true. (The one addressed to Dovy.) Unfortunately it’s getting worse. I just read that a certain yeshiva is now requiring other people to monitor internet usage in other people’s homes. There is no privacy anymore. Many people are looking to drive rifts between members of the klal -saying if you don’t conform -you aren’t frum. (And of course, you don’t belong in our yeshiva.) What happenned to the time when I was growing up when we were happy to see another shomer shabbos person? There were so few shomer shabbos, that anybody in this catergory felt connected and nobody cared if they had tv’s and so on. The sinah from one shomer shabbos yid to another seems to be growing at an alaming rate!


    Unfortunately some Yiddin think that Frumkeit is an exclusive not INCLUSIVE club and if you don’t follow the rules as THEY do you can’t belong! Funny thing though, it is Hashem who made up the rules and it is HIS club. It is humans who are interpreting his rules and deciding what they think, oh excuse me what they KNOW Hashem wants. As far as I know, born a Jew always a Jew. And the more you care about your fellow Jews the more they appreciate Yiddishkeit. The more you demonstrate the beauty of our religion the more people want to practice and grow through it. The more you shun people the more they shun the religion those people represent.

    minyan gal

    Aries: An excellent post. I couldn’t agree more – once a Jew, always a Jew. A person’s level of “frumness” (or lack of) makes no difference. In the end, everything is in Hashem’s hands. I am of the belief that whether or not a family possesses a cell phone, TV or whatever electronic gadget will be next on the market makes no difference at all. It is whether or not a person is leading a “good” life – performing mitzvot, raising children to be productive and respectful and honoring their elders, etc. This is all that truly matters. Everything done above and beyond is merely a bonus. Each family must choose their lifestyle for themselves. However, anyone who thinks that depriving children of today of electronic devices will actually be keeping them away from them is living in a dream world.


    Where did the question of ahavas yisroel come in? I love yiden more than anything regardless if they make mistakes or not. It’s precisely because I love yiden and care about yiden (even all of those I don’t personally know) that I care so much to see people keep themselves out of harm’s way. giving kids (and in most cases adults too) access to cell phones is a quick way to ruination. To the contrary, it’s a lack of love to be indifferent & irresponsible to the safety & welfare of yidishe children by being the “nice” parent/principal and let them have cell phones just because they want it.

    Some of you mention the fact that a yid is special if he lives a “good life” and we should be happy when we see someone is a shomer shabbos. do you know how many kids are mechalel shabbos directly or indirectly because they have cell phones? There are many reports of kids (and adults) who go under their covers or into a bathroom on Friday night and text or surf the internets most vile websites all shabbos night.

    So many of our children end up hanging out in the worse places with the worse “friends” only because they had an introduction and a continuing source of communication with bad influences. These problems came about and continue to progress because of them having cell phones.

    Its not a question of trusting your kids (or yourself) or if your kids are from a “good cut” and “wouldn’t do bad things”. Its a simple fact that if they have access and communication with the filth and addictions and problems that are so available in the world, they are then at those temptations mercy.

    As far as a yeshiva or a Bais Yaakov or a camp not having payphones for the students; I myself see most of those places making sure to have payphones. They don’t cost that much and are an absolute necessity for the schools and camps to have available. Without making payphones available for their kids, they are almost encouraging cell phones. Payphones are not all that costly. Many times they are free of charge to have them installed. Why don’t they just call some of the other Yeshivas or camps and ask where they get their payphone service from?


    aries2756 – “when someone starts a thread to knock others who are doing things THEY don’t approve of I believe it is counter productive to the concept of ahavas yisroel.”

    Neither do I. However, I do not believe that was the purpose that the thread-opener had in mind when he started this thread. It sounds to me like he started this thread to warn people about the incredible dangers that cell phones can pose, both to the young and to the old. I keep hearing about this “plague” of holier-than-thou frummies, but I haven’t seen them around in anything near the numbers to warrant such a fear of them. Therefore, my conclusion is that alot of this “hate” is imagined/misinterpreted. Just because somebody is doing things differently than you does not mean he looks down on you. We have (or at least should have) the right to be machmir on ourselves without being accused of “hating”, “shunning”, or forming an “exclusive club”. Seriously, we’re not all that evil.

    Health – “Aries – Your last paragraph is so true. (The one addressed to Dovy.) Unfortunately it’s getting worse. I just read that a certain yeshiva is now requiring other people to monitor internet usage in other people’s homes. There is no privacy anymore. Many people are looking to drive rifts between members of the klal -saying if you don’t conform -you aren’t frum. (And of course, you don’t belong in our yeshiva.)… The sinah from one shomer shabbos yid to another seems to be growing at an alaming rate!”

    I highly doubt there are “many people” saying “if you don’t conform -you aren’t frum. (And of course, you don’t belong in our yeshiva.)” It is perfectly reasonable for a yeshiva to only want boys on a certain level of frumkeit in their yeshiva. And it is also perfectly reasonable for somebody to only want their children to be around one type of person, so that they will not learn hashkafos that they do not approve of. However, that does not necessarily mean that these people do not think that others are frum, or that they hate these others, as I explained above to aries.


    mw13, please remember what happened because of “cheit hameraglim” so I don’t agree that the yeshiva should have other people monitor their internet usage or anything else. Setting up spies is never a good idea. And that goes true for all these well meaning posts. Read the original post again and you will see what I mean, it is extremely judgmental “how do parents expect to teach their children…….”. It is not a post saying “for anyone new to the parsha of kids and cell phones, please be aware that……”or as I mentioned before a post posing a question pertaining to that person’s need for assistance with this particular issue.

    When one begins speaking about how others are not keeping torah and mitzvos properly or that they are not being mechanech their children properly that is a total put down and it is ripe for loshon horah. It is a judgment that others are wrong and I am right and they are not doing what they are supposed to be doing because “x,y &z” and don’t you all agree with me. To me it is just nasty and it does breed this holier than thou or your not on my madreigah attitude. And it brings out the worst in people, calling each other nasty names and being utterly disrespectful and rude to each other right here on this blog. Some of the posts that get through shrieks with chutzpah and attitude. For instance, the remark that cell phones have caused the yeridah, just look how kids are being mechalel shabbos with cell phones. Please, it is not cell phones or internet that has caused kids to go off the derech. It is other Jews who have pushed and shoved them off the derech. And just as they would never have dreamt to use any of these muktza objects on Shabbos when they were shomer Torah and mitzvos, it doesn’t mean anything to them when they are no longer keeping mitzvos. Blaming cell phones, internet, tv, or anything else is not only ludicrous but it shows how much people choose to be in denial rather than face the real issues right under their noses.

    I don’t come to the CR for mussar. However, if someone is looking for advice or assistance then I believe everyone would be happy to offer their opinions or personal knowledge on any subject.


    aries2756 – The aveirah of the cheit hamoraglim was the loshon hara they said, not the actual act of spying.

    Saying “how do parents expect to teach their children…” may be slightly judgmental, but I think the poster was just emphasizing the danger that he believes cell phone pose. And I certainly think it is a far cry from “speaking about how others are not keeping torah and mitzvos properly”, “a total put down”, “ripe for loshon horah”, “a judgment that others are wrong and I am right and they are not doing what they are supposed to be doing”, “nasty”, “holier than thou”, “utterly disrespectful”, etc. I don’t see how anything in the original post warrants such accusations.

    “For instance, the remark that cell phones have caused the yeridah, just look how kids are being mechalel shabbos with cell phones. Please, it is not cell phones or internet that has caused kids to go off the derech. It is other Jews who have pushed and shoved them off the derech.”

    Huh? Who is going around “shoving” people off the derech?

    “Blaming cell phones, internet, tv, or anything else is not only ludicrous but it shows how much people choose to be in denial rather than face the real issues right under their noses.”

    Why is this ludicrous? To me it seems very logical: if you surround your children with things that glorify physicality, you can’t expect them not to be affected by it.

    And what precisely are these “real issues right under our noses”?


    the issues of at-risk kids and why kids go off the derech? It has nothing to do with technology and cell phones. It does have to do with other issues such as lack of self esteem and self confidence. It has to do with abuse and molestation. It has to do with humiliation by people in authority. It has to do with dysfunctional and abusive families. It has to do with getting lost in the crowd and having yiddishkeit shoved down their throats instead of shown in a manner of ahava and simcha. It has to do with not being taught the joy of yiddishkeit and why we do what we do. It has do with loss and not understanding or not being shown the compassion necessary to deal with it. It has do with being hurt and having internal pain grow out of proportion and not having anyone in their daled amos notice and care until that pain is overwhelming and all consuming so much so that it explodes and causes the child to run and try to rip their own identity away from themselves. It has to do with parents that throw them out instead of loving them unconditionally. It has to do with people loving their children more than they love the the opinions of their neighbors and friends. It has to do with adults in their lives who are hypocrites and not the proper role models they should be.

    Kids are affected by all forms of physicality that parents choose to surround themselves with from the way they decorate their homes to the cars they drive and it has nothing to do with the cell phone in their pocket. That is a very small issue.

    And as far as cheit hameraglim, you hit the nail on the head! Whenever you have spies, they are going to speak loshon horah! BINGO! And whenever you start a thread criticizing other people, you are going to lead people down a path of loshon horah. That is exactly my point, because whether they say who they are talking about or not, they are thinking it!



    aries, mw13, you can’t make a klal of why kids go OTD. Each situation is it’s own story, it’s own ‘history’ how can we come and make a klal? Yes you can say that ______ is a helping force. That the combo of no shalom bayis, internet,…or whatever but how can you nail it on one thing? and for each kid it’s a whole different story!


    In NYC – in many yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs – once children are in 7th grade – they must take public transportation to go to and from school. My children have been mugged. When my son was mugged he was on the phone with me and the perpetrators got scared when he screamed ‘Mommy come’ and ran off.

    I don’t know how many of you have been on the busses and trains but most child will feel much more secure if they have that phone. As with all issues – we much teach our children how to behave responsibly. If we let our children know that we are proud of them and trust them – they will work to retain that pride and trust that we have in them. I have seen many homes where the parents forbid all types of things – and poonk in those homes – the children felt that their parents did not trust them – and rebelled. That being said – everybody knows their own children. If I had a son who was a trouble maker all during his childhood and constantly testing the limits – I would be hesitant to give that child a cell phone.


    aries2756 – First of all, calm down. I never said there are no issues that are causing kids to go off the derech – I was just questioning which reasons you were referring to, seeing as you failed to mention any in your first post. And yes, these are the reasons that many go off the derech, but others also go off from pure tayvah.

    “Do you want to talk about glorifying physicality? Do you have a crystal chandelier in your home? Do you possess silver and gold? What about diamonds? Do you get fancy linen from Elegant Linen? What other forms of physicality do YOU surround yourself with? Don’t be a hypocrite!”

    That’s not quite the type of physicality I was referring to. I was referring to the fact that the culture around us encourages and elevates the mindless, animalistic pursuit of tayveh and instant gratification. If children watch TV/unfiltered internet for hours a day, will they learn the value of giving to others, of self-control, of doing what’s right no matter how hard it seems? Or will they CH”V learn just the opposite?

    (Now, lest I be accused of “hating”, “shunning”, or forming an “exclusive club”: NO, I do not look down on those who do have TVs in their homes. I simply don’t think it’s a good idea.)

    “Don’t be a hypocrite!”

    How can you possibly accuse me of being a hypocrite?! You know nothing about me! For all you know, I might be living in a trailer park, feeding my family by collecting garbage! Why do you keep on jumping to conclusions like this?

    “And whenever you start a thread criticizing other people, you are going to lead people down a path of loshon horah.”

    Once again, I do not believe that this thread was created to criticize people, just to warn them.

    And if you truly believe criticizing will lead to lashon hara, why do you spend so much time criticizing others?


    sof davar hakol nishma – “aries, mw13, you can’t make a klal of why kids go OTD. Each situation is it’s own story, it’s own ‘history’ how can we come and make a klal? Yes you can say that ______ is a helping force. That the combo of no shalom bayis, internet,…or whatever but how can you nail it on one thing? and for each kid it’s a whole different story!”

    I wholeheartedly agree. Did I imply otherwise?


    It has to do with getting lost in the crowd and having yiddishkeit shoved down their throats instead of shown in a manner of ahava and simcha.

    This is a great line, and so true.


    It’s not that possessing a cell phone glorifies physicality that’s the problem. It’s the addictive, spiraling out of control, networking feature only found when a person has their own personal phone number and personal texting abilities (not to mention private internet access to to facebook and every other dirty social website out there) that causes problems.

    With the constant, 24/7 convenience of being “on call” from every bad influence out there, a person (child or adult) is swimming in extremely dangerous waters. Kids in particular who have a hard time forecasting the reprecussions of all thier action / aquaintances are in especially high risk. It’s very simple. It doesn’t have anything to do with how much you love your child. It doesn’t matter if you respect your child. If you put your child in a position where he or she can get hurt from natural dangers (horrible “friends”, social network sites, curiosity and temptations to explore all the countless pornography available on the net etc, etc) it’s a sure bet they have a much higher risk of falling prey to devastation. In fact to call it a ‘risk” that they might utilize their private texting/phone device to respond to friends you wouldn’t want them to have and explore racy sites is a misnomer. It’s virtually guaranteed.

    We daaven every morning at the end of brochos that we should not be brought to nisyonos. At the same time we carry around a source of the most private, personal usage of unlimited nisyonos and give it to our children. Then we teach them to daaven every day to also not be brought to nisyonos??? It’s not fair to children to basically not be given a choice in the matter. If there parents give them a cell phone and the schools or camps don’t at least make sure to have payphones available, the kids who don’t know better to protect themselves from these things don’t even stand a chance. That’s unfair to them.

    Everyone speaks about “trusting your kids so they don’t betray your trust”. How about the trust that kids put into their parents that they won’t be steered wrong? By ultimately denying them a chance to succeed and giving them a non stop unlimited potential of personal, private nisyonos in their pants pocket, the parents / hanhala of the schools are effectively betraying the unspoken trust each child has in their parent and school.

    To justify the whole thing by saying its a safety issue, is grasping at straws. Is there any statistics showing that carrying a cell phone makes a person better able to survive driving a car? Less likely to be mugged? Better able to defend himself/herself because there’s a cell phone in the pocket? Common sense dictates that any distraction from awareness of your surroundings puts you at greater chance of being in an accident or being mugged. A false sense of security is a greater risks of danger than anything else as well.


    It is a safety issue while driving.

    Nowadays, I don’t stop if I see someone broken down on the side of the road, as I assume they have a cell phone and can make their own call. If cell phones weren’t common, I would stop. I feel the risk of stopping with little kids when the chance of the person NOT having a cell phone, is not worth it. Even if the people are frum.

    When my tire blew out on my car, I was able to call AAA, my husband and my friend who I was driving to. If I hadn’t, I might have been stuck on the NJ Turnpike on Shabbos. You don’t think a woman alone, stuck on a highway, is a safety risk?

    As to trusting your kids – monitor their usage! Disable internet if you would like (its disabled on my phone). Don’t allow texts or minimize amount and who they can send to. And most of all MONITOR them. Trust but verify.

    Dr. Pepper

    Our kids are too young to have cell phones and I only use it for phone calls or texting my wife (or close friends on rare occasion), so I’m no expert on the extra features. I did however disable Internet capabilities from all phones on my plan and only I am able to enable it. I also know that there is an option to disable texting (which I had to do once and it worked).

    How are kids able to get around these blocks?


    they can get around software blocks

    but if you have disabled the service and are not paying for it there is no way they can get around it unless they pretend they are you and reenable the service.

    they probably could do that knowing your soc sec # and perhaps your mothers maiden name, but you would see this the next time you got a bill from the provider, unless you have an automatic plan and dont check the bill.

    Dr. Pepper


    There is an extra code to access the account which even my wife doesn’t know (although I’d tell her if she wanted to know). I get a text message from Verizon every month saying what the bill is and I don’t check the bill if it is within a dollar of the previous cycle.


    2morecents – While I agree to have a cell for me or my children with the net is not a good idea, but you didn’t say this in the beginning of your posts. You implied (and possibly mean) that noone should have cell phones. This is typical of the mentality nowadays -find a problem and assur the whole thing. I think people do this in our generation to pat themselves on the back -saying to themselves -“I’m better than everyone else”. I personally own an old cell phone. All it can do is call and text. No different than your home phone.


    I never meant to imply that I’m better than anyone else in any way. I’m not sure how anyone even read that from what I was suggesting.

    The vast majority of cell phone users have internet and texting and stuff on their phones. If you are not by nature a person who is a customer of an updated phone, this does not mean that your teenagers or children in their 20″s are not influenced and interested in a full featured phone.

    The point is, if a kid is taught that it’s 100% OK to have a cell phone, even a plain Jane phone, he or she will quickly figure out how to get their hands on a phone with all the magic. That upgraded phone will be just as kosher in their minds as any other and you may not even know they got an upgraded phone of their own with their own account. Without the benefit of chinuch, how are the kids supposed to know to identify and stay away from such nisyonos? Does it matter if the first 6 months the person doesn’t use the cell phone to contact anyone harmful and only later on begin a downward spiral?

    The idea of having even a plain Jane talk / text only phone is downright dangerous in and of itself. The internet capabilities (which is inevitable) is just the icing on the cake that can further do harm.


    I would rather my children have a cell phone that I can monitor than a prepaid one that I cannot control.

    I am not of the opinion that cell phones are inherently dangerous, especially if you teach your children how to use them properly. Even better if you monitor them and ask them who’s numbers they are.

    2morecents, you reference “kids” in their 20s – they are adults at that point. Often married with children of their own. You also reference chinuch – chinuch is not just about avoiding anything that possibly could become treif (otherwise, we wouldn’t eat cheese and hamburgers lest we combine them). Chinuch is about teaching your children the proper way to use communication tools.


    My kids all got cell phones when we made aliyah.

    I’m not sure why 2morecents makes the assertion that “The idea of having even a plain Jane talk / text only phone is downright dangerous in and of itself. The internet capabilities (which is inevitable) is just the icing on the cake that can further do harm.”

    My kids are teenagers. They do not pay the cell phone bills, my wife does. How will they suddenly manage to get internet capability on their phones without us seeing it on the bill? It doesn’t just show up on a phone one day by magic!

    We’ve been here three years, and none of them have “quickly figured out how to get their hands on a phone with all the magic.” The only way they can do that is if they magically started paying the bills on their own.

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