December 7, 2008 2:43 am at 2:43 am #588816
I personally think that mesivta bochurim can have a cell phone as long as the internet is securely blocked.
What does the coffee room think?December 7, 2008 4:55 am at 4:55 am #627763
Bais Yaakov maydelParticipant
i dont know what goes on in mesivtas, but from what i hear from my 3 brothers, its better to let them just have “kosher” cellphones i.e. no texting, no camera, no internet, no music… i know that many batei midrashim roshei yeshiva look at boys phones, what does the CR think about THAT?December 7, 2008 5:07 am at 5:07 am #627764
By unanimous consensus, “The Coffee Room” agrees that cellular phones in the hands of the young, are worse than the great plague.
How did this generations parents manage to survive high school without a mobile phone?December 7, 2008 5:21 am at 5:21 am #627765
Can we please stop it already with the chumras and prohibiting things that are a natural part of modern life. If we allow things to just keep getting tighter and tighter around everyones necks it will result in a lot of people leaving the fold (oh ya, i mean more than it’s already caused).
When I was growing up my frinds in yeshiva who didn’t have TV’s were completely obsessed with it. they were at their grandparents house every sundaay to watch and whn they went to friend homes with Tv’s all they wanted to do was watch TV.
The key is: everything in moderation. And you cant keep poeple away from things as normal as a portable telephone.December 7, 2008 5:25 am at 5:25 am #627766
i may be the biggest hypocrite but i must agree that getting a cell phone in high school was the worst thing for me. and i highly doubt it’s any better for boys. if anything, it’s worse.December 7, 2008 5:26 am at 5:26 am #627767
you’re wrong. you don’t want your kid to be messing around cuz he has the freedom of a phone. trust me, you’d rather he be the wannabe.December 7, 2008 5:40 am at 5:40 am #627768
“By unanimous consensus, “The Coffee Room” agrees that cellular phones in the hands of the young, are worse than the great plague.”
Who was it that you polled, exactly?
I think that a phone that has absolutely bare-bones ability to just make and receive a limited number of phone calls, is an asset to any student in any school situation. We live in difficult times, and parents and children need to be able to reach each other in an emergency. This is not always possible otherwise. The cell phone, like any other modern technological advance, can be used for good or for shtuss. We don’t refuse to use the good things because they might also be used for less worthy pursuits. Our kids need to be instructed that if they abuse the privilege of having a cell phone, they will lsoe it. Period. Nos econd chances. I ahve never had a problem with my children in this area.December 7, 2008 5:54 am at 5:54 am #627769
What is wrong for a Bochur to use a pay phone? It is a less expensive choice then renting a cell phone, and healthier with the suspicion that cell phones may emit a kind of harmful radiation to the user.December 7, 2008 6:08 am at 6:08 am #627770
either your children are angels or you’ve got no idea what’s going on. in general though, at best they lead to laziness and wasting of time. at worst… we all know what goes on. (if you don’t, unfortunately i can fill you in really well…) but honestly, i’m not out of school that many years. there is hardly a teenager alive who’s not obsessed with his/her phone. and it’s insanely unhealthy. never mind physically (though that’s a huge deal, too) I don’t know what kind of bubble you’re living in, but it would probably do you some good to pop out of it and face the real world.December 7, 2008 6:14 am at 6:14 am #627771
I did grow up with a television (no cable though) in the house, and my experience was similar to yours. My parents barely watched it (except for the news); they spent much more time reading and of course my father spent most of his spare time learning. So I didn’t watch much television growing up and neither did my siblings. Most of my high school classmates did not have television; many of them watched television at their grandparents’ or at the families where they babysat. In general, my classmates who didn’t have televisions at home seemed to spend more time thinking about it than those who didn’t.
That said, I don’t have a television now. I think that television is less appropriate for children today than it was, and the frum community has changed a lot too. Most of my children’s classmates don’t have television so my children don’t really have access to one at all.December 7, 2008 7:57 am at 7:57 am #627772
my two sons ages 18 and 16, do not have cellphones and I can still speak to them daily. They are really proud they don’t have. My sons principal said the boys who walk around with phones all day look like little buisnesmen. So sad. For the older ones, let there be really specific times during the day it’s not allowed. Don’t leave the Beis Medrash to speak on the phone. If they need to air out, take a 5 minute walk around the block. Phones can and should be left in the dorms.December 7, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am #627773
If a boy is in an out of town school and the school allows cell phones, then I think it is a good idea. When I went to high school, I boarded by families and only went home for shabbos, and there were many times that I could have used a cell phone to call my parents. It was not easy those days. I also like the idea when my kid is in Israel I can call up and check how she or he is doing, and they can call me in case of emergency. As with all things, cell phones can be used for good or for bad. but if you ossur it then kids will want it even more and buy one on their own.December 7, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am #627774
joseph- you are the man.
Azi- you are nieve.
Modern things coming out are more nisyonos not things we have to adapt to. Im not saying nobody, but kids def. dont NEED them. And of any good that could come out of it theres a whole lot of bad that will come with that.
MODERN-ORTHRODOX-THE BIGGEST OXYMORON IVE EVER HEARD.December 7, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm #627775
By your own admission, you are barely out of your teenage years. You probably should not be telling people to face the “real world,” which you have very little contact with.December 7, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm #627776
Brooklyn, Oomis doesnt seem to be living in a bubble, just actually monitoring the kids and making sure they use the cell phone properly.
I see nothing wrong with HS kids having cell phones as long as someone is watching out. Yes, bad things can happen with cell phones, but for safety reasons I would want my kids to have them in high school.
I think most of the time parents are too lazy to monitor and deal with their kids using technology and tahts where the problem lay. Not the cell phone itself.December 7, 2008 1:06 pm at 1:06 pm #627777
yashrus, I expect that you either walk everywhere you go or use a horse-and-buggy. Surely you wouldn’t want to go through the nisayon of using electricity either.
Nowhere in the Torah does it say that scientific and technological advancement is antithetical to Judaism.December 7, 2008 1:54 pm at 1:54 pm #627778
ok so there’s a difference if a kid is in school out of town. when i was in israel i had no choice. but the nisayon doesn’t leave – it just happens to be that by the time i left home, i was more or less out of that stage.
who do you expect to tell you what’s REALLY going on out there? 40-year-olds who are just as clueless as you are? or a 40-year-old that you decide not to listen to? well you can’t exactly ignore this. i’ve been there. i went to a VERY frum bais yaakov, have an EXCELLENT name (i don’t know how i managed to keep that one up!) and i know what goes on. our parents weren’t stupid, they were uninformed. i wasn’t the only one(though the other girls have no idea that i was doing the same things as them. Edited .) it was basically a ticket to do whatever we wanted as long as we hid it well.
in short: i had a phone in school. there is no way in the world i’d let my kid have his/her own phone. at MOST i’d have a spare phone in the house just in case one of them needs it in an emergency situation. but a private one? no way!
oh an btw: for all you naive people: there are a million ways to go about unblocking the internet. and i figured out how to do it within 30 after i tried.December 7, 2008 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm #627779
Brooklyn 19 is facing the real world with regard to teenagers and cellphones. The reality is that a teenager with a cell phone has quite a bit of potential for private communication. Although any street-smart parent can closely moniter phone calls (internet use and text messaging, less so), very few parents have the time, interest, or believe it to be necessary. The end result is often exactly the way Brooklyn19 says it to be….December 7, 2008 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #627780
The parents who don’t have the time or interest, or who don’t believe it is necessary, then, are the problem – not the phone itself.
You underestimate adults, we know a lot more than we let on sometimes ;). You think that children disobeying their parents is a recent innovation? You think that parents don’t know what’s going on ever? I’ll give you a little hint: sometimes, the best way to learn a lesson is not by getting caught, but by getting burned. Kids are going to find ways to do what they are intent on doing one way or another. Making things off-limits is not always the answer.
For example: tell a kid they can’t use the internet and one of two things will happen – either the kid will find a way to use it anyway, with NO hope of proper supervision or training, or they won’t, but when they are old enough to make the decision by themselves, they will be totally unprepared to deal with what they are doing.
I would rather ATTEMPT to teach my kids moderation and proper use than both open the temptation to the forbidden and render them helpless and uninformed when it is out of my hands. Not to mention that proper use of technology is increasingly a prerequisite for success in the job market (not to say that this necessitates giving every child a cell phone, but you probably [hopefully] can see what I’m getting at).December 7, 2008 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #627781
So illini07 will leave a loaded gun on his dining room table; if he comes back in a couple of years alive to tell us about it, we’ll all be happily surprised for him. Until then, he is rolling the dice.December 7, 2008 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #627782
I have been close to inconvenient incidents occurred by cell phones at youths, boys or girls. it can be extremely dangerous for bochurim to have cell phones, it’s just common sense.December 7, 2008 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #627783
really? you’d really watch your kids kill themselves spiritually and not try to intervene, just so that they can learn from their mistakes? i’m all for letting kids make mistakes. but don’t know what’s at steak here. most kids are not malicious. things just happen. and parents should try to prevent those things from happening.
i didn’t say a cell phone is bad. but in the wrong hands it can be detrimental. i don’t know what i’d do now without a phone. i wark crazy hours and i practically live in my car. but don’t kid yourself into thinking that teenagers need phones.
listen, i could give the whole other side too. i mean, i managed to convince my parents to get me one in 10th grade, right? but now i’m speaking honestly and from unfortunately experience.December 7, 2008 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm #627784
I have a son who is a first year Bais Medrash bochur who does not have nor want B”H a cell phone- he calls home on the Yeshivah pay phone- we manage to reach him when necessary on the pay phone- on the chance of there being an emergency- Chas Veshalom- we can call the office or even the Rosh Yeshivah directly-
The sakonoh far outweighs the benefit in my humble opinion-December 7, 2008 5:04 pm at 5:04 pm #627785
Cell phone + teen = Russian RoulleteDecember 7, 2008 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #627786
That’s a ridiculous and faulty analogy, especially unworthy of a response due to its tone (not that I expect anything better).
I’m perfectly aware of what’s at stake (though some steak sounds good as well). The phone itself and the things you can do with it (let’s assume no internet on the phone), enable harmful activities, it is not harmful in itself. The trouble a child may get into with a phone typically requires some further action on the child’s part – and that is where a parent can step in. Letting your kid get burned is a balancing act.
Admittedly, I likely have a different parenting philosophy than most here, but there are things that matter more than other things. To take Joseph’s ludicrous example, I would never let my child put him/herself in serious physical danger. Nor would I let my child seriously damage him or herself spiritually. However, as you pointed out, you cannot completely control a child’s thoughts and actions. If they harm themselves spiritually in some way, sometimes it is better to let them feel the regret and remorse – how do you learn the true meaning of teshuva if you are prevented from ever doing anything wrong? Granted, our differences probably stem from the fact that I do not view all communication with the opposite gender as inherently spiritually harmful, and that’s a large part of what this is all about I would guess.December 7, 2008 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #627787
Joseph + soapbox = just as dangerous…December 7, 2008 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #627788
Bais Yaakov maydelParticipant
just a side thing: thats what theyre calling not bailing out the auto industry–its playing russian roulette with the economy.December 7, 2008 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm #627789
I think there is a difference if it is a young lady or a young yeshiva bochur. Perhaps there should be a separate thread for the young girls. When the girls go to seminary in Israel, a cell phone is MANDATORY. The school needs it in case of emergency and they need to know where the girl is.
I feel that once a girl starts to drive, she should have a cell phone to use in case of emergency. Yes, I can always lend her mine, but what if I need it as well because I am away? I think that it is not a black or white decision, every parent needs to make this decision for their child. But I feel that Hashem has given us the invention of a cell phone to use it letovah.
I remember one time my father was picking up my sister at yeshiva high school to bring her home (we lived out of town, one hour away). My sister waited outside the closed yeshiva building and my father was delayed, he had no way of reaching her to tell her he was delayed, and she waited for a long time. finally she walked to my aunt and uncle, very upset. If there were cell phones then, she would have been spared that trauma.December 7, 2008 7:31 pm at 7:31 pm #627790
It’s really not so hard to to control cellphone use. If you don’t pay for internet and texting and your kids use them, it shows up on the bill; if they overuse their allotted minutes (and by the way, you as the parent can choose to pay for a limited number of those minutes)it shows up on the bill. Like credit card and bank statements, simply reading every item on the bill can alert you to misuse, and you can take the necessary action, such as taking away the phone. Our rule at home: when a child is old enough to travel around without an adult, they may have a phone; no texting, no internet, and limited minutes; phone is turned off and put away when at home.
Also, here in E”Y, terrorism is r”l a constant worry (and I hear that it ought to be more of a worry in the U.S. than it is). I want to be able to get in touch with my children in the event of an attack ch”v, without having to try and get through to a Yeshiva or B.Y’s phone system that is crashing from the volume of the calls.December 7, 2008 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #627791
By unanimous consensus, “The Coffee Room” agrees that cellular phones in the hands of the young, are worse than the great plague.
Joseph can make this statement because , in his view,his opinion is the only one that counts.December 7, 2008 8:09 pm at 8:09 pm #627792
“It’s really not so hard to to control cellphone use. If you don’t pay for internet and texting and your kids use them, it shows up on the bill; if they overuse their allotted minutes (and by the way, you as the parent can choose to pay for a limited number of those minutes)it shows up on the bill. Like credit card and bank statements, simply reading every item on the bill can alert you to misuse, and you can take the necessary action, such as taking away the phone. Our rule at home: when a child is old enough to travel around without an adult, they may have a phone; no texting, no internet, and limited minutes; phone is turned off and put away when at home.
Also, here in E”Y, terrorism is r”l a constant worry (and I hear that it ought to be more of a worry in the U.S. than it is). I want to be able to get in touch with my children in the event of an attack ch”v, without having to try and get through to a Yeshiva or B.Y’s phone system that is crashing from the volume of the calls. “
Halavai, this was so well-written, I thought it bore repetition. My children are not always angels, but they are TERRIFIC kids (adults now), and they have never abused the privilege of having the phone or internet. They paid for their own cell phones when they were able to afford them, and had them so we could always quickly reach them. I cannot begin to count how often it was a relief to me that either we could be reached or they could. Anyone whose child cannot be trusted with this responsibility should ask himself why his kids are so untrustworthy. I cannot believe my kids are THAT exceptional (well, they are, but you know what I mean). Brooklyn 19, I think it is YOU who need to pop in on the real world. There are responsible young adults ALL OVER the place, who were brought up to be honest and responsible.December 7, 2008 8:22 pm at 8:22 pm #627793
dont have internetMember
parents can call up and ask att/verizon/sprint/tmobile ect to take texting off and 5 sec later the kid could call and put it right back on and parents who dont analiza the bill might not noticeDecember 7, 2008 8:39 pm at 8:39 pm #627794
And lesschumras lacks any humor.December 7, 2008 9:32 pm at 9:32 pm #627795
The danger of making sweeping statements that are truly outrageous, such as the, “worse than the great plague,” remark, is that when a statement actually worth hearing is made, so many people have been turned off to the hyperbole, that they are no longer listening.December 7, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm #627796
There is a certain out of town yeshiva (mesivta) where the rule is that the bochurim may only have kosher phones, they must be turned in during school hours, and are returned to them during free time. Here is what all of the bochurim did… They got kosher phones, they follow the rules with the phones, and at all other times they have their regular phones that they are able to use and call whoever they want whenever they want…. Hmm… Sounds like cell phones for responsible mesivta bochurim is a great idea, don’t you think?December 7, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm #627797
For those who are concerned about their sons using cellphones to text or access the internet, isn’t it possible to buy phones/ plans without these capabilities? Besides the “kosher” phones, there are other phones that only offer voice service. Examples of these are the Jitterbug (marketed to senior citizens) and, I think, some Tracphones (pay as you go).December 7, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm #627798
as a mesivtah buchor and knows what is going on inside besides for
kashrusreasons and the addictiveness of texting [why is it underlined in red there is no such word] a buchor has absolutely no use for a cellular phone. the yeshivas phone is fine. [even though i have internet, i still dont need a cell phone- because i dont have a use for it. although my menahal deffenatly likes them he even manages to take away a new one each week}}December 8, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am #627799
oomis, you’ve clearly demonstrated a disdain for listening to Rabbonim anyways.December 8, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am #627800
halavai, you said it. On every cell phone bill it will show all texts, internet, downloads, etc. With just a little reading, you can figure out exactly what your kid is up to.
And azi, what you’re saying is all too true. keep your kid too restricted, and he’ll break out and do anything and everything he wants to. I’ve heard too many of those stories. Better to give him a cell phone, and keep close watch.December 8, 2008 3:11 am at 3:11 am #627801
Why would anyone want to risk their child’s life with a cell phone? Sure its possible they may get away unscathed. But why risk destroying their spiritual/ruchniyos life?December 8, 2008 3:38 am at 3:38 am #627802
ujm, if you keep your kid too restricted, and he’ll break out and do anything and everything he wants to. I’ve heard too many of those stories. Better to give him a cell phone, and keep close watch.December 8, 2008 3:57 am at 3:57 am #627803
first of all, i think you’re forgetting what the main function of a phone is. you can TALK on it. wow. that took a genius to figure out. second, if your kid activates anything on his/her phone, even if you anylize the bill at the end of the month, you might not know about it till a month later. that’s 30 days too late. (and chances are you’re not checking it EVERY month… so how many months could go by??? who knows???)
and for you illini07:
you’re right. maybe our standards are different. but where do you draw the line? they can talk to guys, but not hang out? or maybe they could hang out, but not be careful about negia? or is that ok too?! you don’t know how far kids could go. or maybe you do and you’re ignoring it?December 8, 2008 3:58 am at 3:58 am #627804
mw13, au contraire. I’ve heard way too many horror stories of what happened to innocent children whose parents foolishly let roam with a cell phone. I shudder to even think of the details.December 8, 2008 4:04 am at 4:04 am #627805
you’re right. you don’t wanna know details. but you’re aware that there’s a problem and that’s what’s important.December 8, 2008 4:08 am at 4:08 am #627806
ujm, any extreme is dangerous.
brooklyn19, tell your child that your watching his/her phone, and check it every month. Chances are that, if you tell your child that you’re watching, they won’t try anything so as not to lose their phone.December 8, 2008 4:18 am at 4:18 am #627807
its true that kids sometimes get obsessed with their phones but please, let them breathe. of course there has to be some restrictions (no internet, blocking of text-messaging during class hours etc.) but lets not be too restrictive because that may have the opposite effect.December 8, 2008 4:48 am at 4:48 am #627808
everyone’s got a cellphone these days, who are you kidding!!!!!December 8, 2008 5:03 am at 5:03 am #627809
brooklyn19 is right as a person right out of yeshivas we are much more informed then a older person who thinks they know what they are talking about. we LIVED the reality i had the same experience doing everything behind the other boys backs. however i think i gained tremendsly from overcoming my personal nesinoys without a crutch to lean on. i came out a better person. however i would give my children a phone just with a occasinal check on the phone bill to make sure i know those numbers that are texet late at night and a lot of times.
additonally my friends whos parents did not give them phones went out and got a rediley availble pre-paid phone which is 100X more dangers because as long as you erase all the messages and call log there is no way whats so ever o track down anything and the number can always be changed!!!!December 8, 2008 5:04 am at 5:04 am #627810
mw13, Kids are naturally versatile, intuitive, astute, and clever. They WILL find ways around “blocks”. They can even find ways around their activity appearing on the monthly detail section. Trust me, it can be done, it has been done, and it will be done.
And this is aside from the dangers involved from unfettered VOICE ONLY access. Surely you are not oblivious that unfettered access to RECEIVE (which are not detailed on the bill where it originated from) voice calls can be catastrophic?
You are playing with fire. People HAVE gotten burnt, and worse…December 8, 2008 5:41 am at 5:41 am #627811
My cell phone bills show received the originating number for received calls. I’m charged for these calls, so the details show up on my bill.
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