Weekly Reminders

Google SafeSearch
Ever search for a most innocuous topic only to see some Schmutz related results mixed in to your search results?

Well, not everyone knows that Google (yes even Google the owners of youSchmutz.com), understands that we all aren’t necessarily interested in seeing Schmutz links when we search for a computer part or a banking term, or a Torah topic or whatever.

Is there hope? Well, the best solution is to get off the internet. Barring that how about using Google SafeSearch?

What is Google SafeSearch? Well in their words…

“Use Google’s SafeSearch filter if you don’t want to see sites that contain pornography, explicit sexual content, profanity, and other types of hate content in your Google search results. While no filter is 100 percent accurate, SafeSearch checks a website’s keywords and phrases, URLs, and Open Directory categories to determine and filter out inappropriate sites.”

Interested? One can get more info here http://www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=510

Stop…Think…Take Action
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No One Said That It Was Easy, But There Are Ways To Do It

Having a difficult time trying to manage your internet usage? It is widely known that once one is stuck in a rut, it isn’t a walk in the park to get out of it; but it is doable.

What one needs to do is just try to stop surfing for just 10 minutes. When that time passes, try to hold out just for 10 more minutes. When that time passes try to hold out for just 10 more minutes…get the idea?

It may seem simplistic but one expert has told the writer that this is what he suggests to those who consult him.

If it works for the pros, it can work for everyone else before they need a pro.

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Don’t Get Too Cozy
1) Adjust the monitor so it is too bright or too dark.
2) Turn the monitor 15 degrees in another direction so one can see what is on the screen but not with ease.
3) Choose a chair that one would normally avoid (not balanced right etc.)
Get the point?
If these ideas don’t do it, how about something else?
After all, who would know what to do in order to give yourself an incentive to complete your task and then move on to something else better then you?
Stop…Think…Take Action
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Pi And Surfing The Web, Two Anomalies In Nature

Surfing web pages is like the digits in Pi (3.14159…) in that they are both unending, seemingly unrelated, aimless strings of data.

To be fair, at least sometimes the first few digits of Pi can be useful in mathematics.

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Consider The Time

If you surf the web for just one hour a day…that will add up to 15 days a year or over two full weeks at the computer.

That’s only half the story as since most of us are awake approximately 17 hours a day (as we need to sleep) the number is 21.5 days of usable time.

If you factor eating and other necessary functions, that number climbs to the majority of a month of usable time over the year.

Now consider how much time is being taken from you if you average even more time on the web.

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Quack Quack

If it looks like Internet Addiction and smells like Internet Addiction, duh, it’s not a duck. Just turn it off and walk away.

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Thank G-d For Rainbows

Some say that the flood in Noach’s time began due to immoral behavior. (See Kli Yakar Bereishis 6:15)

Now that the Internet exists, it’s a good thing that there are rainbows. *

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage: Unquantifiable time

It is impossible for science to measure and comprehend how long a day was before the Sun and Moon were created as well as how long five minutes actually is when used in the phrase “I’ll just check my email/internet for five more minutes”.

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – “Adult Content” !?!

Since when is the word “adult” a synonym for “depraved”?

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – A good tip, to tip the scale

Want a sure way to be sealed into the book of life? How about sealing up your internet usage until after Yom Kipper?

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Start small

Part of the Sixth Constant Mitzvah is “Not to stray after ones eyes”.

It is worthy to note that this Mitzvah is not temporarily suspended when surfing the internet. (That’s why it’s constant.)

Depending on what one is browsing, the other 5 Mitzvos can apply too but why not start small and work your way up?

Little rusty on the Six Constant Mitzvos? See http://www.aish.com/sp/f/48971891.html

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – A Simple Formula For Chodesh Elul

Chodesh Elul = Teshuva + (Torah learning + doing Mitzvos + Chesed) – Internet Usage

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Chodesh Elul Is Almost Here

If Chodesh Elul is almost here that means we’ll be saying Selichos real soon; and when we do say Selichos, there is a custom to lightly beat ones chest (near the heart) while saying Selichos. This is as if to say to the heart “you caused me to sin”.

For some of us, we should do the same to our computer in order to give it the same message.

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Summer Vacation

Among the many wonderful things that summer vacation brings is plenty of unstructured time.

Remember, if one does not plan their time wisely, the Internet has a way of filling the void all too well.

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Fit To Receive The Torah?

When the Jews went out of Egypt, they were on the 49th level of Tumah (spiritual uncleanliness) and they needed 49 days in order to clean up their act so they would be fit to receive the Torah.

Oy, imagine what level they would have been on if they had internet in Egypt.

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Internet Flight Plan

All pilots know that it is best to file a flight plan before they take off. Among other things, it lists their intended destinations and estimated times of the trip.

How about filing an internet flight plan?

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Syria Blocks YouTube

As reported by Reuters on May 4, 2009

“Syria blocked 225 Internet sites last year, up from 159 in 2007, including several Arab newspapers and Amazon, Facebook and YouTube.”

If a regime that partners with a mad-man who intends to murder an entire country (Israel) feels that they must nationally block YouTube, this has to be telling us something; don’t you think?

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Apparently You Can Do Without

Now that we rely on email and surfing the web like we rely on the telephone and automobile, many of us can’t envision doing without them even for a day or two.

Well, somehow we managed to celebrate Passover which forced us to turn them off for a few days.

Of course one does not need to wait another year to experience this true freedom again.

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Do a thorough search…

If it is true what our rabbis tells us that Chametz represents sin, then unfortunately some of us may not be Yotzeh the Mitzvah of “removing Chametz from ones possession before Pesach” unless they burn/sell their computer with the Chametz.

At the very least one should search their computer (and their computer habits) for any Chametz and be sure to annul it.

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – “Help Me I’m Stuck!”

Hey it happens, if one hangs around the internet long enough, Tumah gets to the best of us. If you’re “drowning” but you have no one to turn to (you can’t exactly tell your spouse or friends etc.), try this site http://www.guardureyes.com/GUE/GUE.asp.

It may or may not help but it’s a good first step.

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Learn From King Achashveyrosh and Haman

In Megilas Esther (1:22), when he needed to send a new law to all the countries under his rule, King Achashveyrosh had it written and then sent the Sefarim (books) to everyone.

He knew better than to sit down and compose an email to everyone. He knew that if he’d just start with email, he would soon move on to surfing the internet for many hours and then he’d never get around to planning with Haman how to wipe out all the Jews.

Love ’em or hate ’em, King Achashveyrosh and Haman had it right. How about us?

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – The Final Hour

If you had only one final hour left to live, would you be spending it online?

Let us say that the average person reading this is about 30 years old.
Let us say that the current life expectancy in the world is 66 years.

If we multiply 36 remaining years by 365 days and by 24 hours we get 315,360 hours.

The average person reading this has 315,360 final hours left until they die.

(tick tick tick… it is counting down as we speak.)

Do you really want to surf now?

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Are The Odds In Your Favor?

If one is on a webpage and is about to click on a link which they are unfamiliar as to where it leads

consider…

1) What are the odds that it points to a Torah site?

2) What are the odds that it points to a site which contains useful information or that it is conducive to self-improvement in some way?

4) What are the odds that it points to a site that has at least neutral information on it?

5) What are the odds that it points to a site that doesn’t fall under #1-#4?

Is it worth taking the risk?

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – News Junkies

There is common saying that “Todays news wraps tomorrows fish.” or “The news is good for covering the bottom of bird cages.”

Why not just scan the headlines and then move on to something more productive?

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – No “lamers” please

Ever wondered why the word “lame” nunciated backwards sounds like the word “email”?

The following definition is taken from Merriam Webster
*******************************************************************************************************
Main Entry: lame
Pronunciation: \ˈlām\
Function: adjective

Definition: … lacking needful or desirable substance : weak , ineffectual

*******************************************************************************************************

If you are about to send someone an email, decide whether it’s really important or if it is a “lamer”.

After all, email taxes the time of the composer and recipient alike.

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Who me?

Of course these emails aren’t intended for us. They’re meant for the other guy.

However, if the shoe fits wear it.

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Use the “X”

Question: What does EVERY webpage on the internet have?

Answer: A button with an “X”. It is located on the top right corner of your screen.

It might just be one of the most productive clicks that one will ever make.

(Mac and Unix users have a similar alternative so feel free to use whatever applies.)

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Global warming…er…warning…

In Greece –
“…According to recent results of a survey conducted by the Greek Node’s partner, the Adolescent Health Unit (A.H.U.) of the Second Department of Pediatrics at the University of Athens, among 1021 adolescents in Attica, 1% of Greek youngsters are addicted to the internet and 18.2% of adolescents are at risk of being a web addict.”

In S. Korea –
“…A study of 5.2 million elementary, middle and high school students in South Korea has found nearly 2 percent of them are obsessed with the Internet.”

In Australia –
“…The first study of the impact of internet use on Australian teenagers found a third of respondents were “in the process of becoming psychologically addicted” and teenagers, on average, spent 13 hours a week on-line.”

How are your statistics?

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – More Productivity Right?

Why is it that we are often at the computer for two hours when all we went there for was to look up a phone number?

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage: Why not ask Merriam-Webster?

Does your internet usage fit with this definition?

********************************************************************
(Taken from Merriam-Webster)
Tool – pronunciation \ˈtül\
Function: noun
Definition: …device that aids in accomplishing a task; something (as an instrument or apparatus) used in performing an operation or necessary in the practice of a vocation or profession
********************************************************************

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage: “The web is a great tool for…”

Is the internet really being used as a tool? Who stares at a hammer until 3am?

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Even if that website you’re visiting is rated “g” (we hope), is it rated G? (Does the Almighty approve of you being there?)

Stop…Think…Take Action
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Internet Usage – Are you what you see?

You are what you eat. Are you what you see? In other words, does visual stimulation have an effect on the viewer?

Chumash (Bible):
Parshas Vayeitzey (30:38 and Rashi 30:40) Jacob put peeled bark in front of the water troughs and had the white sheep follow the speckled in order to cause the white sheep to turn speckled.

Talmud:
Avodah Zara (24a) A red cup was put in front of the bovines during mating in order to produce a Parah Aduma (Red Heifer).

American Psychological Association (APA)
Regarding the medias (including internet) that can cause…EATING DISORDERS, LOW SELF-ESTEEM, AND DEPRESSION…

American Psychological Association members, the National Institute of Mental Health’s report
Regarding the medias (including internet) that can cause “…increases in aggression, desensitization to acts of violence and unrealistic increases in fear of becoming a victim of violence, which results in the development of other negative characteristics, such as mistrust of others.”

Stop…Think…Take Action
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