Upgraded from a smartphone to a kosher phone? Tell us how your life improved!

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  • #609185

    Shraga18
    Participant

    When I moved from the U.S. to E”Y, I switched from a smartphone to a kosher phone in order to comply with the psak from the E”Y gedolim.

    I was astonished by the positive repercussions. I’ll fully admit that at first it wasn’t easy; I was actually having withdrawal symptoms. After working for nine hours, I would come home and wonder every few minutes whether I had a new email. Whether there was something interesting on the news.

    And then I rediscovered my family. I realized it had been a long, long time since I could have any normal, focused conversation with my wife and kids. My Shalom Bayis improved, my relationship with my kids became better than ever.

    I remember reading a column by Yonoson Rosenblum (I think it was him) where he claimed that the nisayon of filth on the internet may not be the worst part of smartphones; rather it’s the damage that’s being done to the family unit. But that’s something that’s hard to accept when you have that smartphone in your pocket. It’s only once I switched that I saw how true it is…

    Did you switch? Let the rest of us know how it affected you!

    #949979

    Toi
    Participant

    amazing. me too. maskim

    #949980

    just my hapence
    Participant

    Why assume everyone’s life would improve by changing to a kosherphone just because yours did? Plenty of people I know went right back to smartphones after having a kosherphone because they were so annoyed by the kosherphone user experience. It’s like everything else, some people benefit, some don’t.

    #949981

    Me and my wife used kosher phones for a couple of years. Then as soon as we had some more money we bought decent smartphones and never looked back.

    I shake from fear at the thought of ever having to use a kosher phone again… it left me traumatized.

    #949982

    jbaldy22
    Member

    well my mother in law who lives in israel just switched to smartphone and she feels that being able to skype her grandkids vastly improves her life.

    #949983

    Shraga18
    Participant

    just me hapence,

    “Plenty of people I know went right back to smartphones after having a kosherphone because they were so annoyed by the kosherphone user experience”

    Of course. Plenty of people also go right back to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes after trying to go without. Doesn’t mean they benefited from it, does it? It’s just like any other addiction.

    TCG,

    “and never looked back.”

    Of course not, you had that nice shiny screen to look at instead :-).

    “I shake from fear at the thought of ever having to use a kosher phone again… it left me traumatized.”

    I’m pretty sure your sentence just proves my point.

    #949984

    Shraga18
    Participant

    jbaldy22,

    Why would she need a smartphone to skype?

    #949985

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I dont always hear the phone, so I tell people to send me a text. as I check the phone periodically.

    Also sometimes when I am buying stuff I am not sure about, Ill take a photo and send it off to the expert in that area. Ive managed not to buy things that would get returned and save the store lots of hasssle.

    #949986

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    You need a smartphone to Skype as you use the Camera.

    #949989

    Shraga18
    Participant

    zahavasdad,

    “I dont always hear the phone…etc”.

    Umm, I’m very happy for you. Can you tell us how that’s connected to this thread?

    #949990

    Shraga18
    Participant

    “You need a smartphone to Skype as you use the Camera.”

    Laptops? Netbooks (which are even cheaper than smartphones)?

    #949991

    just my hapence
    Participant

    Shraga18 – I’m not really convinced that smartphones can be equated to physical addictions like smoking and alcohol, there actual chemicals are physically rewriting the workings of the brain. Here you just don’t like smartphones.

    #949992

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    When I moved from the U.S. to E”Y, I switched from a smartphone to a kosher phone in order to comply with the psak from the E”Y gedolim.

    WADR (and I know I didn’t give it the first time), this looks like the action of someone who was subject to societal pressure. You decided to follow the Gedolim BECAUSE you moved to EY?

    I don’t buy it.

    If I had to psychoanalyze this, I would say you are looking for validation beacuse you feel bad having to bend to the societal pressure. I hereby pat you on your black hat and say you did the right thing.

    See, I even saved you money on the shrink.

    P.S. I don’t own a smartphone (BH), and agree with all of your points. Just be honest with yourself why you did it.

    P.P.S. This is nothing against you personally, just an interesting societal quirk about EY and Charadism (and one of the main reasons why I don’t live there).

    #949993

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I look forward to switching back to a smartphone in several months. You recall how fun it was when I had one last summer.

    #949994

    Shraga18
    Participant

    just my hapence,

    “I’m not really convinced that smartphones can be equated to physical addictions like smoking and alcohol”

    Take a look at the wikipedia article on “smartphone addiction”. I think you’ll find it very enlightening.

    #949995

    yepyep
    Member

    Yes!! Us!! it bothered both of us that while relaxing together, instead of schmoozing, we were both busy on our phones. I honestly believe that our marriage was slowly going down the tubes as a result. BH we had the strength to say ‘dayenu’ and while it was difficult for a few weeks, we’re so much more at ease now.

    #949996

    computer777
    Member

    Shraga18 – I’m not really convinced that smartphones can be equated to physical addictions like smoking and alcohol, there actual chemicals are physically rewriting the workings of the brain. Here you just don’t like smartphones.

    Google “internet ruins”

    Let me tell you what comes up :

    internet ruins…. lives, relationships, everything, attention span, memory, kids, marriages ,creativity, social skills, life.

    How about “internet ruined my life”?

    “Internet ruining the world.”

    “Internet ruining society.”

    I think comparing it to drugs and alchohol is a good comparison. I think the internet is a whole lot worse than smoking.

    Just my hapense: show me another thing that google will bring up as being as damaging as the internet (besides drugs and alchohol)

    Shraga18: Kol hakovod!

    #949997

    jbaldy22
    Member

    @shraga18 she doesnt have a laptop she only has a desktop. and actually the nexus 4 is cheaper than most netbooks/laptops and there are smartphones that can be purchased off contract that are cheaper than that. she could get a webcam but she like the luxury of using it on the go. My point was not to argue that smartphones are a necessity – just to point out that in many cases it enhances people’s family life.

    Also the APA happens to agree with my just my hapence about internet/smartphone addiction – relying on wikipedia as your source of reference is never a good idea.

    #949998

    Shraga18
    Participant

    gavra_at_work,

    I’m afraid you wasted your time on some misdirected analysis. I believe one should listen to the Gedolim. The Gedolim in the U.S. don’t forbid using a smartphone, so when I lived there I had one. The Gedolim in E”Y, however, do forbid it, so when I moved there I upgraded to a kosher phone. As simple as that.

    computer777,

    Thank you!

    #949999

    writersoul
    Member

    I have a “dumb” phone. (LG Cosmos- NOT touch, with texting). I got it because I commute over an hour every day, and my mom wonders why, because 95% of the time it’s sitting at the bottom of my bag, dead. (Baruch dayan emes.)

    I think it depends in whose hands you put the phone. I have friends with smartphones who SnapChat and Instagram EVERYTHING (it gets extraordinarily annoying), and I have friends who do pretty much the same things with their phones that I do with my computer. It all depends on the person and his/her strengths- there are no absolutes. But I can see Shraga’s rationale.

    GAW: Isn’t it possible that it’s more of a minhag hamakom type thing? If I lived in a place where nobody used a smartphone for ideological reasons, I probably wouldn’t use one for the same reason that I’d wear different clothing in Meah Shearim than at home.

    #950000

    Shraga18
    Participant

    “Also the APA happens to agree with my just my hapence about internet/smartphone addiction”

    Wow, way to oversimplify a complex issue being argued about on the highest levels of the psychology profession. But if you prefer to stick your head in the sand and claim there is no such thing as internet addiction, go ahead.

    #950001

    jbaldy22
    Member

    @shraga18

    not at all – In fact the only one who is oversimplifying is you because you implied that there was no debate on the issue in the first place. JMH is right that not all addictions are created equal – even assuming that smartphones/internet can be addictive which i am not at all inclined to believe.

    #950002

    Poster
    Member

    shraga 18, good for you! A/o that has any reason to say that a kosher phone is silly, nerdy etc. must be trying to ease their guilt that they are not on the level to give it up.

    My husband and I had Kosher phones when we lived in EY. Now that we are here we are back to texting. I miss the peace of a kosher phone and I wish we had the courage to say no to texting. I admire you and hope to get to that level someday.

    #950003

    jbaldy22
    Member

    Lets make it clear I have no problem with anyone having a kosher phone – its primarily kosher phone people who do the proselytization possibly to seek validation for their sacrifices or to convince themselves they are better off. Saying that there are advantages to having a kosher phone is fair. Saying that there are no advantages to having a smartphone is just downright silly.

    #950004

    TheGoq
    Participant

    This whole thread smacks of why cant you be as frum as me.

    #950005

    batseven
    Participant

    Shraga 18: I think its great what you did, and kol hakoved.

    However, I dont think that theres an issue with a regular simple verizon phone without any internet access or games etc…

    My phone has just call and text, and I use text for convenience.

    If I wouldnt have texting, it would be difficult.

    Don’t get me wrong- I would do things even tho its hard if it really has to be done. I downgraded to a simpler phone without internet capabilities even though its much harder now that I have to go in to my office every time I want to check my emails.

    However, I do not see that texting has a negative effect on my life.

    Apparently it did on you, and now that its working for you- yasher koach!

    But I dont think a reg simple phone that’s not a kosher phone is an issue for many people

    #950006

    WIY
    Member

    Jbaldy22

    I don’t want to get sucked into a debate here but there is such a thing as texting addiction. There are kids who text on Shabbos but otherwise keep Shabbos because they have to text. Its an addiction. I don’t know how it matches up with other addictions but its certainly an addiction. You can google about it there’s plenty info on text addiction.

    #950007

    interjection
    Participant

    “There are kids who text on Shabbos but otherwise keep Shabbos because they have to text.”

    No, they text on shabbos bec they don’t believe it holds any significance. Take people who are addicted to smoking but do value shabbos. The vast vast majority would never smoke on shabbos. Talk to the kids who text on shabbos, usually their problems are more with emunah and judaism than with texting.

    It’s beautiful that your family life improved but for those who do interact with their spouses despite the phone, it is sometimes a wonderful convenience. For instance just yesterday the dr needed me to fax something. Being that i don’t have a fax machine or a scanner he suggested I take a picture with my smartphone and email it instead. I can think of many ways that my smartphone has improved my life but you are correct that one needs to be careful that it doesn’t become an addiction.

    #950008

    just my hapence
    Participant

    Shraga18 – The difference between you an me is that you read a wikipedia article and I am currently studying for a degree in the subject. In fact a few weeks ago I was doing the research for an assignment that’s coming up for which I spent hours observing the actual physical effects that cocaine and amphetamines have on brains. See there is a huge difference between physical addictions such as nicotine, alcohol or narcotics and psychological addictions such as shopping, gambling etc. To understand why, here’s a bit of (extremely over-simplified) basic background info. The brain has hardwired into its system various response pathways, several of which are loosely-termed ‘reward pathways’, i.e. the brain ‘rewards’ the body by releasing one of several neurotransmitters that create pleasurable sensations when presented with certain stimuli. In physical addictions these pathways are hi-jacked, so-to-speak, by the chemicals in the addictive substance and ‘trick’ the brain into ‘thinking’ that the only way to activate these pathways is through the external substance. In psychological addictions the systems remain pretty much intact but ‘get used’ to being stimulated by certain activities and therefore come to ‘expect’ these activities in order to reactivate the pathways so that the body can get the reward it wants. Therefore these addictions are much lighter and much easier to break than physical addictions, as the latter is now a ‘necessity’ whereas these are only very strong desires.

    Even having said all this, you yourself admit to jbaldy that the very existence of internet addiction is “a complex issue being argued about on the highest levels of the psychology profession”, which hardly makes your case that much stronger.

    Finally, even if we were sure about internet addiction and were going to run with your alcohol analogy I’m sure you’d agree that not everyone who enjoys the occasional whiskey or a pint or two of beer on a weekend is an alcoholic, so why assume that everyone who prefers a smartphone to a kosherphone is addicted to the internet?

    #950009

    just my hapence
    Participant

    computer77 – Telling me to use the internet to see how dangerous the internet is the height of irony… Besides, Google listings are not exactly the epitome of academic reliability are they? And as for addictions as destructive as drugs and alcohol? Well, nicotine, gambling, davar shebieno l’beinoh etc are pretty good starting points I think.

    #950010

    jbaldy22
    Member

    @WIY actually was going to bash using google as a reliable source but interestingly enough if you google texting addiction one of the first sources is from a KU research team which actually found that texting is a compulsion and not an addiction. Just because someone does something habitually does not make it an addiction.

    #950012

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I’m afraid you wasted your time on some misdirected analysis. I believe one should listen to the Gedolim. The Gedolim in the U.S. don’t forbid using a smartphone, so when I lived there I had one. The Gedolim in E”Y, however, do forbid it, so when I moved there I upgraded to a kosher phone. As simple as that.

    So which ones do you believe are correct? The “Gedolim” in EY or the “Gedolim” in America? And if the “Gedolim” in EY are correct, why didn’t you follow them in the first place? (“Gedolim” because I don’t know who he talking about that Assered or Mattered smartphones).

    Perhaps I’m just confused about the whole thing. Can someone please explain it to me?

    #950013

    Shraga18
    Participant

    gavra_at_work,

    First of all, Rabbonim have the right to disagree. If you live in a place where your Rov paskens a certain way, you’ll listen to his psak. If you then move to a different place and have a different Rov, you’ll listen to him. I don’t know why that’s so hard to understand.

    Second of all, the Gedolim on the two sides of the ocean always recognized that what works for E”Y doesn’t always work for the U.S. and vice versa. Therefore many of their psakim tend to only be mean for local consumption. I think that’s pretty easy to understand as well.

    Having said all that, chances are the Gedolim in the U.S. would pasken the same way as the ones in E”Y if they thought the tzibur would listen to them.

    #950014

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    First of all, Rabbonim have the right to disagree. If you live in a place where your Rov paskens a certain way, you’ll listen to his psak. If you then move to a different place and have a different Rov, you’ll listen to him. I don’t know why that’s so hard to understand.

    It is rather difficult. The halacha does not change from place to place. Now I agree that one should be Machmir to follow the minhagim/psakim of the Rov in a specific location, but that is due to Kavod, not P’sak. Besides, that would mean that depending on where you were (Mea Shearim vs. the Gush), you would or would not have a smartphone (as the Rov in the Gush is not the same as that in Mea Shearim).

    Second of all, the Gedolim on the two sides of the ocean always recognized that what works for E”Y doesn’t always work for the U.S. and vice versa. Therefore many of their psakim tend to only be mean for local consumption. I think that’s pretty easy to understand as well.

    I agree, but once again, you are just proving that the issue is not Halachic. Halacha would not change depending on what side of the ocean you live. Hashkafa does.

    Having said all that, chances are the Gedolim in the U.S. would pasken the same way as the ones in E”Y if they thought the tzibur would listen to them.

    You’ve proven my point once again. If it was Assur Mamash, there is no way that anyone would be Mattir.

    #950015

    a mamin
    Participant

    For all you Brooklynites: There will be a major asifa against technology next Thursday in the park on 18th ave. in Boro Park. Stay tuned….

    #950016

    Shraga18
    Participant

    just my hapence,

    It’s really hardly relevant whether the effect of smarthphones on the brain is chemically similar to alcohol or drugs. I assure you the wife and kids who are trying to have a meaningful conversation with their husband and father who keeps on glancing at his smartphone are not comforted by the difference.

    “so why assume that everyone who prefers a smartphone to a kosherphone is addicted to the internet”

    I don’t. But I do think that everyone who prefers a smartphone to a kosherphone should at the very least know the rampant problems being caused by it, and that they should try very hard to be honest with themselves about whether their family relationships and/or shmiras enayim is being affected.

    The problem is that the cognitive dissonance in situations like this is very powerful.

    #950017

    just my hapence
    Participant

    Shraga18 – I’m not even going to dignify that with a response…

    #950018

    Shraga18
    Participant

    GAW,

    1. It’s absolutely possible that they hold it’s assur, but “k’sheim shmitzvah lomar davar hanishma…etc”. I don’t think I ever saw a psak saying it’s “muttar”.

    2 But I don’t actually think that’s the case. I think that Halachically all the Gedolim agree that having unfiltered internet is absolutely assur, whether it’s on a smartphone or a PC. Gedolim in E”Y, however, realizing that the vast majority of those with smartphones don’t actually get a filter for it, decided that the issue was important enough to go and make a geder. The Gedolim in the US, however, realize the American tzibur wouldn’t adhere to a geder like that.

    #950019

    jbaldy22
    Member

    @shraga18

    “and that they should try very hard to be honest with themselves about whether their family relationships and/or shmiras enayim is being affected.”

    so basically you are judging everyone else from your high horse …. maybe this type of judgmentalness is brought on by the increased usage of kosher phones?

    #950020

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    1. It’s absolutely possible that they hold it’s assur, but “k’sheim shmitzvah lomar davar hanishma…etc”. I don’t think I ever saw a psak saying it’s “muttar”.

    Sure there is, in America they have specifically allowed use of smartphones with filters. V’Harayah, the head of the Agudah in America uses one (and famously had it go off in the middle of his speech during a convention).

    2 But I don’t actually think that’s the case. I think that Halachically all the Gedolim agree that having unfiltered internet is absolutely assur, whether it’s on a smartphone or a PC. Gedolim in E”Y, however, realizing that the vast majority of those with smartphones don’t actually get a filter for it, decided that the issue was important enough to go and make a geder. The Gedolim in the US, however, realize the American tzibur wouldn’t adhere to a geder like that.

    So you admit that it is a geder made up by the gedolim in Eretz Yisroel, vs. an actual psak/Issur. End story, may someone own a smartphone with a filter al pi Halacha? The answer to that is yes. However, in EY the Gedolim said it was Assur none the less because…the Tzibbur there is more pliable to societal pressure? Because the Tzibbur is unable to make distrinctions between filtered and unfiltered internet? Or perhaps because the Tzibbur does not need to be connected as Charaidim shouldn’t be working anyway?

    Besides, you didn’t answer my main point. If you believed that there should have been a Geder created in America, but there wasn’t for external reasons, why did you own a smartphone in America? What changed?

    #950021

    Shraga18
    Participant

    jbakly22,

    “so basically you are judging everyone else from your high horse …. maybe this type of judgmentalness is brought on by the increased usage of kosher phones?”

    Huh??? I think you totally misunderstood me. I specifically agreed that not everyone with a smartphone is addicted to it. All I said is that people who do have one should try and be honest with themselves as the WHETHER it is a problem for them or not. No judging, no high horse. Please reread my post.

    #950022

    Shraga18
    Participant

    gavra_at_work,

    I really have no interest in this becoming a thread about Gedolim/chareidim/E”Y vs U.S./Halacha vs Hashkafa etc etc etc. I’m trying to stay away from topics that may cause too much friction and argument.

    The bottom line is that when I lived in the U.S., no one was telling me it’s forbidden, and both being in high-tech and loving gadgets I didn’t put too much thought into it.

    When I lived in E”Y, and became aware that practically every Chareidi Gadol said it’s forbidden, I moved to a kosher phone, although in the beginning it was quite difficult. Some may call doing what the Gedolim say close-minded. I call it smart.

    #950023

    WIY
    Member

    jbaldy22

    Habitually and compulsively are quite different. A compulsion is almost as destructive as an addiction. The bottom line is the person is having a very hard time controlling themselves and is effecting their lives negatively.

    #950024

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I really have no interest in this becoming a thread about Gedolim/chareidim/E”Y vs U.S./Halacha vs Hashkafa etc etc etc. I’m trying to stay away from topics that may cause too much friction and argument.

    You are already too late for that. You shouldn’t have said anything about moving to EY if you didn’t want to bring it up, as it was not relevant to the point you wanted to make.

    The bottom line is that when I lived in the U.S., no one was telling me it’s forbidden, and both being in high-tech and loving gadgets I didn’t put too much thought into it. When I lived in E”Y, and became aware that practically every Chareidi Gadol said it’s forbidden, I moved to a kosher phone, although in the beginning it was quite difficult. Some may call doing what the Gedolim say close-minded. I call it smart.

    So you dropped it because you became more aware of the P’sakim of the EY Gedolim. Had you been aware of their Psak in America, you claim that you would you have never had a smartphone in the first place? What made you so aware of their Psak all of the sudden? After all, most of us here (in the US) are and have been very much aware of the EY Charaidi shittos regarding kosher phones. They have been out for quite some time (in fact, since before smart phones were invented).

    #950025

    haifagirl
    Participant

    I have a regular phone–neither kosher nor smart. As soon as I can afford it, I am going to get a smartphone. There is an app available that shows exactly when the bus is going to arrive at my stop and exactly where the bus is at any given moment. That would be very useful for me.

    #950026

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit
    Participant

    My cousin that lives in Israel has a kosherphone, because in Israel they’re cheaper. She said that all her friends have kosherphones, so either way she has no one to text or email. Having a smartphone when no one else you know has one sort of takes away the point.

    #950027

    jbaldy22
    Member

    @WIY Most habits can turn into compulsions – the only difference is that habitual texting is common so you notice it more. Just because something can cause a bad habit doesn’t t mean you should stop using it – it means that you must exercise self control as it is with many things in life. An actual addictive substance doesn’t really give an addict a choice about stopping whether its a physiological or psychological addiction. The more you do it/use it, the harder it is to stop and self control is much more difficult as the body/mind is fighting you every step of the way.

    @shraga18 – Really? Really? So you don’t think that you implied at all that people arent making a proper cheshbon before making their decisions? And you don’t see how your OP could be understood as looking down on others? You are either implying that they are dumb/ignorant or that they just don’t care. Neither are true. You have found that having a kosher phone works better for you. Many have found the opposite. This seems to bother you for some reason otherwise you wouldn’t have posted in the first place.

    #950028

    jbaldy22
    Member

    @Gamanit

    Apparently data plans in Israel have recently become much cheaper – my nephew in israel pays significantly less than i do in america for a data plan.

    #950029

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit
    Participant

    jbaldy22- kosherphones there cost pennies. Also, the other point I was trying to bring out is that it’s very different not to have a smartphone when even if you had one there would be no one for you to text…

    #950030

    Shraga18
    Participant

    GAW,

    I mentioned moving to E”Y as part of my story, that’s all.

    “So you dropped it because…etc etc”

    Which part of “I’m trying to stay away from topics that may cause too much friction and argument” did you not understand? It looks like you’re trying very hard to turn this thread into a platform for chareidi/Gedolim bashing. Sorry, I’m not biting. Start your own thread if you’re in the mood for that.

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