Do GPSs cause people to go OTD?

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    So my Rov spoke in shul this week about kedushas hamachaneh. He talked about the churban that can be brought about by GPSs. In the olden days, he observed, when someone needed directions, they would have to ask someone for those directions. That was an intrinsic barrier on where people could go, because they were limited to places that their friends knew how to get to and because they would have to tell the person where they were going. But now, you can just enter the place you want to go into a GPS and go – whether it’s a supermarket, a movie theater, or lo aleiny someplace even worse.

    My Rov said that he has had dozens of people come to him suffering from GPS addiction – now that there is no limit to where they can go, they cannot stop themselves from going to place after place after place. This is affecting their shalom bayis and their frumkeit, and threatening the purity of their children’s precious neshamos. Imagine, the Rov thundered, driving your children to Yeshivah one morning in the very same car which was just last night parked outside the worse tumaneh place that your GPS could find! Can such a child truly absorb divrei Torah after that?

    My shul is going to have a GPS burning event to try to stop this churban. The event is going to be held on Lag Ba’omer. If you would like to send your GPS to be burnt, and thus ensure the purity of your future generations, post in this thread and I will see if I can convince the mods to forward you a mailing address.


    snort. Good title though


    Well I have to admit – for the first few lines you actually had me believing this… Very cute bur aren’t you a little late for Purim spoofing?


    Not a spoof.


    Loyal Jew

    Finally someone tells truth about these treif devices.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Well, I think you should have stayed at your father’s shul…


    And here thought you would talk about how GPS devices quite literally lead people OTD when they make mistakes as to which the best derech is to get to your destination.


    One should be very careful about using the Maps feature on the iPhone. It has been known to take people Off the Dereach and sometimes even off a cliff


    Laugh all you want, but I personally know people who developed serious issues with their Yiddishkeit due to the internet (and none due to GPS). All the sarcasm in the world isn’t going to make these problems disappear.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    What do Schottenstein gemaras and GPS have in common? They both get you where you’re trying to go, but you have no idea how you got there.

    Oh, and VM, TKND is correct, but I love the thread title.


    Love the title!


    If anyone sends their GPS to this person, I am sure they will be able to repurchase it on ebay the week after lag ba’omer.


    TKND: The point is that everything is a question of degree. You say the internet sent them off the derech. I say that if they were firmly rooted on the derech, the internet could not have sent them anywhere, therefore it is fallacious to blame it on the internet. GPS is the same thing. I know of a frum boy (true story, not mashal) who went to meet a non-frum girl that he met on the internet. He couldn’t have gotten there without a GPS. I imagine that you would say that it was the internet that sent him off, but not the GPS, and I don’t think it’s a valid distinction. Like a GPS, the internet makes things easier. If you are looking to do the wrong thing, as we (who have a yetzer hara) all are; then the internet can help you do that. If you learn, as we (who have yetzer tovs all do) to exercise self control and work on positive things, then the internet can make that far easier as well.



    You seem to be suggesting that the actions of a person are in no way influenced by the situation in which he finds himself; he will either always do good or always do bad. I don’t believe that that is true. We all have both a yetzer hara and a yetzer hatov, and the exact circumstances (for example, what is easier) of the moment will very often be the deciding factor in which one we choose. The harder it is to do something wrong, the less likely it is that someone will do it.

    I do not believe that the internet sends anybody off the D; I believe it enables people to harm themselves in ways and to a degree that otherwise would not be possible. Guns do not kill, but they enable people to kill who otherwise would not have been so able.

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