|Social Networking: A Distinctly Jewish Phenomenon?|
The world has now been traveling on the information super-highway for over a decade. The recent explosion of media sharing and social networking websites on the Internet – Youtube, Facebook, Mys Space, to name a few – makes clear that while the Internet may have had a dramatic effect on our commercial lives by making it easier than ever to find what we want, when we want it, the true value of the Internet, its strength and purpose, lies in creating a space for people to express themselves, share information, create communities, and foster individual and collective identities. In short, the Internet was made for social networking.
Today, many of the so-called social networking websites in cyberspace fail to foster the kind of community many of us want to be a part of. These websites nurture our insecurities, invade our privacy, undermine our individuality, encourage exhibitionism, and, too often, introduce inappropriate influences, images, and information to us and to our communities. Thankfully, KosherTube is a different kind of social networking website; with your help, we can together create a kosher online community. After all, social networking is the foundation of daily Jewish life.
It may come as a surprise that Jewish life is built upon “social networking”, but it is a principle we reaffirm on a daily basis. Every morning, prior to the morning prayer service, we read to ourselves a list of deeds that we are rewarded for in this world, but whose principle reward lies in the world to come (Shabbos: 127A). All of these deeds seek to strengthen communities and have a uniquely social component:
As users of KosherTube and members of our growing online community, you will find it easier than ever to join together to perform these deeds.
As KosherTube grows, users will control much of the content as KosherTube moves beyond a website that hosts kosher content to a place in cyberspace that fosters genuine community. There is no limit to what KosherTube users can do: become the program director of your own online KosherTube channel, control the content and invite people to see the videos you share; start a video blog (journal) or share videos taken at a simcha with those who could not be there; organize chesed projects; start an online class or organize a chavruta with someone half-way around the world.