Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Internet: a plea for common sense

This is where I get out my ten foot pole and inch gingerly towards the quicksand. All good? Still here?
Time to pull on the asbestos gloves.

Today the topic which I'm about to touch is the Citifield Asifa. I think the counter-rally is really its own post.   This started out as a post about how stupid this all is, and how this isn't a good way to handle the situation (like burning your hand on a stove and then decreeing that all cooking should be done by microwave). Wouldn't education be better? For instance, teaching people about website evaluation and stuff like that?

Then I had a conversation with my dad. Dad is one of the smartest people I know and one of the kindest. (Really. This is a man who can explain why the sky is blue, do most household repairs and maintenance and is courteous to everyone)

Dad pointed out a few things. However much we all enjoy and use the internet, using the internet can become an addiction. If you don't believe me, look up the studies. I haven't seen anything good come out of an addiction to anything. Even Torah.  An internet addiction, though, isn't like being an alcoholic. Alcoholics might be "dry drunks" as long as they don't drink, but as long as they don't drink, they're ok. Not great, but ok. This is more like gluttony. You might be hugely overweight, but you still have to eat. It's a lot harder to control yourself and give yourself a tiny portion of something you really want then to avoid it completely. (Dad's analogy)

So, I have a solution that might work better than a filter for people who want such a gadget. Get rid of your wi-fi, ethernet or high speed internet completely. Use a modem connection instead.

Why? Several reasons.

1. The minute you try to log on, everyone will know you're online. Modems create a ridiculous amount of noise when getting online. You can't sneak onto the internet.

2. Things run sl-o-o-o-wly. Some image heavy sites don't load right. This means that, unless you want to read a paperback novel in the time it takes to, for example, check all your blogs, you have to prioritize which sites you use.  If image heavy sites, or sites with videos take forever to load, then you're going to want to check your e-mail or something in the hour or so which you have to be online.
(Ok, it takes me about an hour and a half to read a paperback. Still!)

3. I speak from experience. For most of my life, my house has had a modem connection. It's really annoying to stay online if it takes forever to get anything done.

Night all,



  1. Chuckle. It would be a better way to go: modems for all!

    I can't believe I am going to use this as a comparison, but I was watching an episode of . . . "GCB." The resident bible-thumper wants to terrify the teenagers into staying abstinent, while another mother wants to use education instead. But her daughter doesn't listen to her, nor does the BP's son. So they swap; each told the other's child their own horror stories.

    The BP, in high school, suffered from very low self esteem and let the boys have their way with her. The other mother's husband had gotten her pregnant in high school, stifling his football career then died driving over a cliff.

    By the time they were done with the other's horror stories, the kids were scared chaste.

    Stove hot. Be careful.

  2. The problem with modems is that people simply avoid them. They'll go to a friend, school or the library when they need the hi-speed access.

  3. Princess Leah: yep, stove is hot. But avoiding cooking with it completely means you miss out on so much good food. To use another analogy, look at Chava and the snake. What got her to eat the apple? Being told she couldn't so much as touch the tree. Granted, midrash, but I still think the point is a good one.

    MGI: True, but isn't a lot of the fuss caused by people visiting websites with objectionable content? How many will want to go to these sites if anyone can look over their shoulder?

  4. I'm sorry for the typo, Princess Lea.

  5. I said "be careful." Not "don't cook." I'm on the internet probably the entire day.


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