There is a predictable reaction every time the idea of banning something, be it cell phones, internet, or whatever, is raised. The argument is that internet, cell phones, etc. are not inherently harmful – it’s the abuse and misuse which are harmful. Instead of attacking the symptom, attack the cause and fix the educational and social problems that lead to misuse and abuse. If this argument is so good, I am just wondering why Chazal didn’t think of it. Just think of how many gedarim, seyagim, chashashos derabbanan we could do away with if instead or prohibiting an action or object, Chazal would have just done a better job of teaching people to behave better. For example, stam yeynam, pas aku”m, and other gezeiros exist to prevent Jewish people from intermingling with non-Jews and intermarrying. Why ban a nice bottle of wine, sharing a drink with a non-Jewish colleague, instead of attacking the root cause and getting people to understand the harm of marrying out? Wine and cell phones don’t kill people (spiritually), it’s bad parenting, bad chinuch, social dysfunction that does it, right? Go fix those problems and all the rest is unnecessary. Yet obviously, Chazal took a different approach.
Ahh, but we’re not Chazal? The Mesilas Yesharim writes that true, the idea of “asu mishmeres l’mishmarti” on a communal level can be enforced only by Chazal, but each individual also has a chiyuv of “asu mishmeres l’mishmarti,” to enact personal safeguards against transgression, and this on top of good chinuch and good parenting, etc. After all, the Mesilas Yesharim was talking to the type person sitting and learning Mesilas Yesharim! : )
At the end of the day there is room for disagreement as to where to draw the lines, but these questions of practical implementation should not obscure the broader point that boundaries and limits, even above and beyond the law, are often necessary.