As you may know, I went cold-turkey on my internet connection, and ousted it from my house around 7 years’ ago.
I didn’t regret doing that for a minute, not even when it meant that I couldn’t find ‘easy’ work from home any more; not even when it meant I had to spend hours traipsing off to the local library to email; not even when it meant I missed out on the latest Shwekey blockbuster video.
Until six months’ ago, I thought I was permanently ‘off’ internet, in any real way.
But then, a few things happened, not least that me and my husband realised that if we didn’t start trying to make some money pronto, our next move would be into a cardboard box…
So the internet came back. Kind of.
We got one of those ‘internet stick’ thingies for home, that work sometimes, but not always so consistently, or fast.
It wasn’t ideal, but it worked well enough.
Then, we discovered that we live literally a minute’s walk away from a business ‘hub’ in Jerusalem, where they encourage entrepreneurs to come and make full use of their free wifi facilities.
There are more chareidi men there than in most of the local kollels – and that’s a good thing. Because as me and my husband realised, these days, you apparently needs some big miracles to be able to make money and be ‘off’ the internet, and we just didn’t seem to have that much zchut (spiritual merit).
But then, I’ve discovered a few other things about the internet:
1) It really takes my energy out, physically, and I can literally feel it sucking all my juice out when I spend too long online (that’s a discussion for another time); and
2) When you make aliya, some part of you actually needs the internet to stay connected to the person you used to be.
None of my old, old friends live in Israel. Even the old friends I have in Israel don’t live anywhere close to me.
Now, I KNOW that internet connections are superficial at best, but here’s the thing: so are most real-life connections, these days. I’ve discovered it’s easier to connect via Linked In than to actually go through the excrutiating torture of making small talk with people I haven’t spoken to for years.
And there’s something kind of comforting of having some people from my past back in my life again, even if it’s just via a thumbnail picture (usually circa 10 years ago…)
I don’t know what all this means. I know the internet is still evil and horrible, and the cause of so much human misery. But after 7 years of doing my best to be without it, God seems to have forced me back into that online world.
And the most confusing thing about it all is that I’m discovering that in some ways, it’s not 100% horrible.