Various prior postings to this blog have mentioned the technophobia of the various insular religious rabbinical authorities, who have at various times banned internet access in the home, text messaging, social media such as Facebook, et cetera. And incidents of rejection or expulsion of students from private religious schools on account of having an internet connection in the home, an e-mail account and/or a Facebook or Twitter presence, or a cell phone have been legion.
I could not agree more that the internet poses some significant major league moral and ethical obstacles to society. But the internet also provides significant advantages and efficiencies in the communication of valid and useful information.
Many insular Jewish religious communities were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. And it turns out that many individuals who nominally are members of those afflicted insular Jewish religious communities have made use (and continue to make use) of one or more of the banned evil technologies in order to, quite literally, weather the storm and its aftermath. For some, the use of those evil prohibited technologies have no doubt made the difference between life and death.
Yes, the insular religious rabbinical authorities can continue to deny that the new electronic technologies are of any good to their constituencies. But due to the recent and ongoing Hurricane Sandy experience, those denials can no longer command much credibility by the rabbis' followerships.