Israeli Teens Rank #1 Worldwide for Internet Hours

Israeli Teens Rank #1 Worldwide for Internet Hours

Depressing news from Israel in this morning’s Yediot Achronot…28.5% of Israeli kids between the ages of 11 and 15 use internet for more than 4 hours day. That puts Israel in FIRST PLACE in this survey conducted by the World Health Association, followed by 2nd Place Romania (27.2%) and 3rd Place Macedonia (18.1%). The United States, by the way, came in THIRTY FIFTH place, with only 6.9% of American kids using internet for more than 4 hours a day.

The figures for TV watching aren’t more encouraging. 35.8% of Israeli 11-15 year olds watch more than 4 hours a day of TV, putting them in 2nd place after 1st place Armenia (36.1%) and followed by 3rd place Romania (29.8%.) America took 20th place with 19.7 %.

MAJOR YIKES!

I wish I could tell you JewishMOMs that religious families over here in the Holy Land are doing better, but that’s unfortunately not the case. While many religious families don’t have TVs, statistics on internet use among religious teenagers are even more depressing than the general Israeli WHO stats. A survey conducted last year among 912 Israeli religious junior high and high school students by Maaleh and the Leshem Institute revealed that the average religious Israeli teenager spends 6 hours a day on the internet!

So what can we do? This thoroughly disheartening Yediot article offers one spark of hope: an Israeli family that has managed to raise children who are not addicted to the screen…and yanno what? They’re doing just fine.

Eitan Glickman writes:

It turns out it’s possible to live differently: the Hoverman family of Hod Hasharon gave up their TV 5 years ago, and their children, Yanai (9) and Alma (6) are still alive.

The mother, Gila, explains, “In the beginning, we cut off our cable. And gradually we came to understand that it wouldn’t be a huge catastrophe if we didn’t have a TV in the house at all. And then, miraculously, our TV broke. We decided that we would try to live without it. And our life became much better.”

In their house there is one computer, but even for that one computer there are very strict rules: one hour every other day per child. “We’re talking about one computer hour, one day for Yanai and the next day for Alma. Every other day, they trade off…The children are fine with this, it’s not a problem…not at all. They read more, they play more board games, they know how to entertain themselves. Their lives are much better this way.

“I don’t feel like their lack of exposure causes them to fall behind, but rather the opposite. We have much more time together as a family. And my husband and I aren’t exposed to all sorts of reality shows. I think that my children are being raised educationally in a much better way.”

And what do the kids say? Yanai Hoverman: “It’s not boring for me without a TV. Usually I read and sometimes I play on the computer or with other things. And I also play the piano. When friends come over we play board games, and then at one point we have fun all around the house.”

Related posts:

Wanna Trade?: 2 Kinds of Tisha b'Av Tears
Avraham Fried at Torah Dedication for Fogel Family
American Kiddush

One comment

  1. a year ago the cable broke down and we kept the tv only for dvds; three months ago we moved out and left the tv in a box!!! the children complained a bit, they asked “when are you going to put it back” and i answered evasively! and now it ‘s the holidays they are at home all day, and they play!!! my eldest invited a friend to sleep and she was embarrassed not to have tv and no much use of the computer, but then they played monopoly and a few days after the friend invited her back and said”please don’t forget to bring….your monopoly game”!!!
    it’s possible to live without tv! children adapt easily! yes they is more noise in the house becaus e they are not stuck to a screen, but it’s worth the noise!!!
    as Rabbi Brody says: “tv is spiritual garbage”

Leave a Reply