by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths
A family member lives in an orthodox Jewish U.S. community where the standard is NOT to have an Internet connection in the home, and even to NOT have a computer in the home (if not for a valid educational or business purpose). Given the shmutz (negative materials) and filtering being complicated, it’s a laudable goal… staying holy by staying away from inappropriate images and content as well as not wasting time sounds like a reasonable idea.
My family member just lost her job of over 15 years – a 50% staffing reduction left her…reduced / redundant.
She went to the unemployment office… they only accept applications by web. She has no internet.
She looked for jobs in the newspaper… no listings, they’re online now. No internet.
She wanted to apply for some jobs… web site application page plus resume upload. No internet, no Word to create a resume.
Her job title, her experience… all listings now require extensive Excel experience, and sometimes SAP. Yes she’s used some business applications, but limited to filling in information on prepared apps and spreadsheets.
What can she do???
She’s on the phone to us, IN ISRAEL, to write the resume, asking us to perform the application for government assistance (an issue as if they track location something from out of country will look fraudulent).
Here’s her last message, “I am having trouble e-mailing my resume and would appreciate instruction(s) or else I'm (minor expletive deleted). I don't have a computer at home and need to use a friend's when available. She does not have the paper clip icon for an attachment on his screen. Any suggestion would be helpful.”
The problem is that tech skills, like any skills, are learned and mastered over time. Tools like Gmail and iPads and Windows continue to develop over time, and while they get more efficient and easy to use – still, the concept space has ideas that have to be understood to be effectively used. And those are gained through use and interaction with regular users.
Turning the Internet into an “evil tool” has consequences, particularly as it’s, in a very brief time of 10 years, become a standard operational tool of business. It doesn’t need to be this way. Even further, the community could set up it’s own Internet service provider, investing in whatever level of filtering they consider appropriate.
But promoting complete non-use… the consequences are growing bigger and bigger.
It doesn’t need to be this way – and at the time when they really need it.