Latest update: May 22nd, 2012
It seems to me that some of the dangers of Facebook are already known, especially concerning our children. First, the world of Facebook is a very egotistical place, with everything centered about ME – how I look, what I like, what I do, and what I think – ME, ME, ME, ME. Facebook gives everyone a chance to stand out and be “famous,” which is not necessarily an admirable Jewish trait. Furthermore, on Facebook, you can be friends with anyone, religious and non religious, Jewish and gentile, Jews for Israel and Jews for Jezeus. After all, the founder of Facebook – Mark Zuckerberg – just married a shiksa, why shouldn’t your kid? Plus, these new “friends” can send you anything they want, like dirty jokes, trashy songs, indecent photos, and links to all kinds of “cultural” garbage that many parents wouldn’t want their children to encounter. Additionally, your list of new Facebook “friends” can include perverts of all persuasions, child molesters, porn peddlers, and even murderers, may God have mercy. We’ve all heard horror stories of how a young and innocent Facebook enthusiast arranged to meet one of his, or her, new friends, and ended up being molested, raped, and even killed.
Most parents are aware of these dangers. “It won’t happen to our kids,” they say. But I am writing this warning to alert people of yet another very real danger – Facebook pornography. In my Facebook ignorance during my first week of networking, I didn’t discover anything overly worrisome. It seemed that whoever was running things at the other end of the computer, wherever that may be, simply didn’t allow pornography onto the network. But then I noticed that there was an option to “search,” like with Google and Yahoo, and I curiously typed in a key word or two. BONKERS! Was I ever shocked! Pornography at its worst, just a click of the mouse away – the most pornographically graphic and explicit photos and videos, the very glimpse of which still has me shaking.
Don’t believe me? Never seen it on Facebook yourself? Well, for Heaven’s Sake, don’t make a search. Take my word for it.
Do you have a teenager who is doing badly in school? Do you have a kid who hates to pray? Does the tiny kippah he wears come off his head the moment he’s down the block? This may be the reason. Nothing desensitizes a person from Torah more than an exposure to porn. Don’t delude yourselves – when it comes to computers, children are geniuses. They know how to navigate through the intricacies of the web like private eyes.
So parents, beware! Either ban you kids from using Facebook, or be sure you have a foolproof filter that doesn’t allow them to see all of the junk that’s out there. They may yell and scream and threaten to boycott the house, but their fury will pass.
One final word. Reading the article in The Jewish Press about the giant Asifa turnout, I was happy to learn that the frum community was taking measures to deal with the problem, but the photo of the jammed-packed stadium broke my heart. What are so many devout Haredi Jews doing in New York when they could all be living in the Holy Land? Can somebody answer me that?Tzvi Fishman
About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. His recent movie "Stories of Rebbe Nachman" will be available soon as a DVD.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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