Do Kids Need Electronic Gadgets?

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    it has become a custom among children of young age to have little gadgets e.g. NINTENDO DS, PSP. I think it distracts them from studies. what is the cr’s opinion on this matter?


    Nothing is inherently evil or bad. Everything should be balanced.


    Don’t let them play with it too much but u don’t have to totally take it away from them. Let them enjoy it, their kids


    i disaggree. They shouldn’t have it because they get addicted to it. And when they are sitting in class it is in their head. There are other things to do on free time. It is a big distraction. e.g. read a book watch a jewish educational video on computer…


    I don’t think kids should have them. They are so addicting. Some are also violent. Also, did you ever watch a kid playing on one of those things?? it is scary how they completely tune everything out. I’d rather my children read ( Which they love to do!!) or go out and play ball or go to a park and run around and get fresh air. I do make an exception and think that they are good for children who C’V, are ill and could use the games as a diversion from all the treatments and hospitializations,Lo’Alenu, but for otherwise healthy children, no, they should not have them!! We didn’t have them growing up and we turned out normal.


    I don’t think its practical in a computer age to expect kids to entertain themselves by reading. Some do, and that’s great, but most don’t. I think kids should be allowed to have them on certain conditions. Like if they finish all homework by x then from x-x they can play with it, and if it needs to be taken away for whatever reason then it will be.

    An argument that was not brought up here is cost, and these things usually run up a tab.



    I NEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDD MY (brothers) DS!! especially at night when i cant fall asleep. although i do admit that it is addictive, but i wen i start reading books at night, i cant put those down either. And a lot of things are addictive, should we take away poppas blackberry and moms rumor cuz textings addictive?


    The problem with all these gadgets is that people misuse them and don’t limit their use. My husband uses his Blackberry strictly for work. I text only when neccessary and try not to make a habit from it. Please tell me what the gain is from using the electronic devices. Obesity is rampant in this country because, Adults and children are on these gadgets constantly, not getting proper exercise. Families are suffering from bonding, each one. They don’t do things together anymore, like talking about things. Conversations are interpetted or even neglected. They are so involved in themselves. Can your kids really pay attention to what you’re saying when they are on these things. The kids are so oblivious to the whole world. It is dividing families up. No, I can’t think about one benefit of electronic devices.


    just an interesting, personal point…

    When i was in high school I didn’t have a cell phone, but when i moved on to further schooling which was further away from school, I got one.

    Although it was very convenient to have one, as mi keamcha yisroel said exactly:

    I really notices that it took away from my learning.

    At first, I would never bring it to class, but as time wore on, and the first time i had to go somewhere directly from school, I started bringing it to class on silent…

    and so on…

    and boy was it so distracting!

    not that a cell phone is a electronic gadget… well, on the other hand…

    Be Happy

    I think these electric gadgets are a terrible distraction to learning. It also creates a feeling of “needing” among the kids. It begins with small things and escalates….


    I had always wanted an ipod, but after I saw what one girl had downloaded onto hers, I just can’t look at them anymore. Yes, a totally frum girl.


    NEED electronic gagets? Well, maybe not a NEED but in moderation I think it is very nice to have –

    needs vs wants

    what a struggle to define –


    I let my daughter get a nintendo DS never dreaming how addictive it would be. She could play 8 hours straight if I let her. Once school starts I’m limiting her to half an hour a night and then taking it away. The whole thing makes me uncomfortable.


    Queen, don’t feel uncomfortable, try to feel empowered. You are the parent, you decide if and when it is ok to allow your daughter to play with it.


    Let me share a story. I refuse to get a Gameboy/DS for my kids. When I sent my oldest son to camp this summer, the topic of Gameboys came up. I told him that I have no problem if he borrows a friends Gameboy to play with. The following was his answer;

    “But Tati, all the kids who have Gameboys are so addicted, they never let someone else play with it!”.

    Sometimes, kids say it best.


    yup. keep it up. DONT give it to your son


    youngbutnotstupid: yes, pops berry should be taken and so should mom’s rumor if it is addictive


    its way too addictive, even when they r not using it thats what theyre thinking about


    yup, that is what i said and also to add on, the kids that are addicted to it do worse in school. STUDIES HAVE PROVED IT!!!


    mi keamcha yisroel – I won’t. Thanks for the advice.


    you won’t what??


    To answer the question posed at the beginning of this thread — do kids need electronic devices? — I think we can all agree the answer is no, kids don’t *need* them.

    Of course, that doesn’t answer the question of whether or not it is a good or bad thing for them to have — but that wasn’t what the OP asked.

    The Wolf


    I dont think kids should have any electronic gadgets. It’s totally a waste of time. What do u think they did in the “olden” days before xbox and gameboys and nintendo and all that other garbage that B”H I don’t know about because it B”H it never made its way into my house. I mean, if you can spend hours with a tamagatchi (remember those!?!?), then imagine how much time you can spend on a gameboy or playstation – time that you could be doing better things with – like playing outside, (or even inside), doing homework……


    I dont think kids should have any electronic gadgets. It’s totally a waste of time. What do u think they did in the “olden” days before xbox and gameboys and nintendo

    I dont think kids should have any books. It’s totally a waste of time. What do u think they did in the “olden” days before the invention of the printing press…

    The Wolf


    (Just in case anyone thinks I’m being cute above, let me be clear — Just becuase something did not exist in the past is not a valid reason to not allow it in the future.)

    (And again, I’m not making any argument for or against electronic devices — I think I answered the OP’s question quite succinctly.)

    (The Wolf)


    exuseme, wolfishmusings, a book is always educational, useful, doesn’t clog a kids mind, so therefore it’s not a shtus and a waste of time. Gameboy is in no way educational in no way is it useful and it CLOGS UP A KID’S MIND. THAT IS the difference between a book and a gameboy.


    thanks mky – obviously i didnt mean it like you made it sound wolf. but yes, for the most part, all these electronic stuff are unnecessary. You ask if they are good or bad for the kids. K, maybe you can think of something good for them, but b’derech klal, they are not good. Like my mother said that TV fries your brains, so too all this stuff. I mean, if I am dizzy from getting up from the CR after a couple hours, imagine a little kid with a gameboy or the like – stuff running all over the screen, frantically pressing buttons…. it gets to you eventually.


    Everything must be in moderation, I was a MAJOR book reader- my parents used to tell me I had to finish my homework before I could read any books. And mi keamcha yisroel, I wouldnt say that books are always educational- not quite. Maybe vocabulary wise- but a good book can make you think about it for a while. When I was into the Harry Potter’s – thats all I could think about for a day or two after I read them.

    I think electronics are fine, good sometimes even but it must be in moderation.


    New topic:?

    Do Adults Need Electronic Gadgets



    I said something painful to you in another thread, and then upon remorseful reflection, wrote this:

    Yeshiva Delay – Children Sitting Bored For Week At Home

    Can you please be Mochel me?


    “a book is always educational, useful, doesn’t clog a kids mind”

    I had this argument with my sister. Books are NOT always educational, useful and they do clog your mind. I am an avid reader and quite honestly, I find TV and books to be on par (depending on what you watch). Its just easier to censor books.

    No one needs electronic gadgets. You can live without electricity as well. People did it for many, many more years then they HAVE electricity. But I am thankful that people use electricity as it pays my bills 🙂


    Totally forgotten, Bemused…

    Dont worry about it 🙂

    I was outta line too.


    Thank you, luv2hack

    It’s been festering in my mind ever since, and I haven’t been myself. Thank you for the Mechilah.

    I would probably be better off not posting, so I don’t do that kind of thing again…

    Dr. Pepper

    If you let your kids use them and moderate their use they won’t feel like they have a “void” in their life, that they are missing out on something. Once they have this feeling of a “void” you never know what they will do when they are by a friends house.

    I heard of a story of two parents who never let their kids have soda. What do you think they did by parties and kiddushim when their parents weren’t there? They drank soda as if there was no tomorrow. Is that better than restricting soda to only Shabbos?

    Let your kids get these gadgets but make them earn its use and keep on top of them. I could think of much worse things that kids could be doing if they are bored and don’t have these gadgets.


    mod80 its not even a joke. there was a boys camp that was advertising a father-son camp for a few days, and it said that they’re taking away all the gameboys from the kids and ALL THE BLACKBERRYS FROM THE FATHERS!!!! And if you were approved by your wife, then for one hour a day you can go to the office and catch up on business. I though it was a joke until i saw repeat ads.


    Great Idea!


    Does anyone know if it worked?

    anon for this

    SJS, books are not all educational, but generally reading as an activity is perceived to be more intellectually engaging than playing with electronic gadgets or watching television/ movies.

    Reading can be a solitary & even isolating activity. My kids do read a lot, but besides reading to my younger kids (& my older ones if they’ll let) I also talk to them about what they’ve read.

    I agree with Dr. Pepper that depriving children of something can make them desire it more. When I was growing up, my parents had a television, but my siblings & I didn’t spend much time watching it (probably because my parents didn’t spend much time watching either). Most of my high school classmates did not have televisions at home. Many of them still watched more television than I did–at the homes of friends, grandparents, and babysitting clients–and spent much more time talking/ thinking about it.

    edited to add:

    That said, I don’t have a television at home now. My children do play computer games but I try to limit this somewhat. Most of them are very active, & none are at risk for obesity.


    Anon, I agree that its percieved to be more educational. I just don’t think it always is.


    You know, a lot of the kids books out there are educational, and some of them, even if you don’t realize it, you end up picking up facts about history, nature, and all other stuff. And I’m not talking about Harry Potter or other stuff like that. I’m talking more about the younger kids stuff.

    But yes, it is true that if you “deprive” a child from something they will gravitate to it. I remember chalishing to go to my grandparents to watch a “video”, or sneaking the soda from the fridge during the week. But that’s how children are. Curiosity is just a part of them. How many of you had teachers who said “okay we’re skipping the next perek in chumash/navi and someone went home and looked in artscroll or the little medrash says and came to school the next day and told everyone what the perek was all about? That’s just how kids are.

    But its not a klal gadol. Neither myself or my sibling every had a gameboy, or anything like that, and I do not remember ever wanting one. I don’t think I even tried playing gameboy – maybe once, but that’s it. And I remember thinking that the kids who were addicted were pathetic. I mean, there’s a reason why certain camps banned gameboys — the kids were spending their activities sitting on the grass next to the courts playing gameboy instead of sports.

    Doc, yes there are a lot of worse things than these gadgets that kids can be doing when they’re bored, but if your kids dont know about them, they wont want to do them. Do you think that the kids in Meah Shearim are bored out of their minds? No, they find lots of good things to do with their time.

    And as for the computer thing – my parents approved all of the computer games that we played, and when they saw something wrong with a game, they took it away. They also gave us a reasonable time limit, and after we were finished with our homework, if we asked permission, then we could play more.

    Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up with all these new electronic “zachen”, but I don’t feel I had a “deprived childhood” cuz i didnt have a tv, or gameboy, or xbox, or whatever else there is. And quite frankly, I don’t think my younger sisters feel left out either.


    Indeed, I attribute any problem solving and memory skills that I have to Pac-Man and Pong.



    In some neighborhoods it’s Crack-Man & Bong 🙂

    P.S. here’s a post in your style:

    Do Kids Need Electronic Gadgets?


    -A GPS, so they don’t “get lost” on the way to school, shul, the grocery, …

    -A volume control w/ mute button

    -Noise-cancelling mouthpiece (for when they must talk but you don’t want to hear them).

    -A timer, which upon expiration causes an involuntary reflex stopping play and returning child to studying.

    -A tracking device (makes hooky obsolete).

    -A guilt-giver (for fathers only, mothers have one built in).


    Of course I played them as an adult. What adult wouldn’t be enraptured by Pong? And aren’t there arcade halls that you have to be 21+ to enter? Apparently, videogaming has a side effect you haven’t mentioned – it lasts for a lifetime.


    As an aside, there were video games well before we even had computers. I did not have any exposure to those (such as tennis for two, or odyssey). But when Pong and Pac Man came out there was a huge excitement because those games could be played with a home television set and a controller (that contained the game software). Everyone was excited about it, and certainly no one was buying it with their kids in mind! Stuff was expensive!


    ICOT – I just noticed your post. Yes! Excellent point!! Plus, they need a shutdown button to streamline the bedtime process! Let me know when you get venture capital.


    A melamed once told my father that he can tell exactly which of his talmidim spent their free time on electronic gadgets, or watching (Jewish) videos. They were much more spaced out and had much less patience/cheshek for their learning.


    Look who foolows Yeshiva world via gadgets:

    By Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

    Who knows? It was indeed important enough for the Congressman to get involved, maybe there are even die-hards reciting Tehillim. What a terrible decree! The formerly Erev Yom Kippur Yankee game is being switched to the Holy Day itself! Imagine! The strains of the National Anthem will be playing concurrently with the haunting refrain of Kol Nidrei. Write letters to the White House! Open your Tehillim.

    Congressman Weiner, I like you. You have done some great stuff for our nation, our community and even for the children of our yeshiva. But Mr. Weiner, you are a Congressman. You represent the people of this State and this country in making decisions that will make a difference in their lives and perhaps the future of the world. Your time is valuable and expending your power on frivolous requests is demeaning.

    Write a letter to, or better yet, make a call and implore our president not to force hundreds of families to move. And I am not referring to moving a baseball game. I am referring to making them move from their homes and uprooting their lives in Israel.

    It may not be as important to you as moving a baseball game, but it may get you enshrined in the Jewish Hall of Fame and cherished by every Jewish kid forever.

    anon for this

    SJS & Ames, this discussion reminds me of a book I read,_Everything Bad is Good for You_, by Steven Johnson. His premise is that many aspects of popular culture, including video/ computer games, are more intellectually challenging than many people think. I agree that games do develop fine motor skills & problem-solving abilities. However, books (even less-intellectual ones) develop reading & thinking skills in ways that most computer games can’t.


    YOU people are going so so off topic. YOU know what the question is and don’t make it like you have no idea what i’m referring to!! I’m referring to the despicable garbage that the kids sit with staring at the screen day and night!! THIS CLOGS THEIR MIND!! Books don’t do close as much damage. And 90% of JEWISH books are educational and they forsure aren’t non-kosher.


    And 90% of JEWISH books are educational

    Where’d you get THAT from??

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