Source: Klal Perspectives Fall, 2015
It is clear that technology, and the Internet in particular, poses enormous threats, while providing extraordinary opportunities to the American Orthodox community. This issue of Klal Perspectives explores whether a community, or even a family, can eliminate the intrusion of the Internet, and if not, how we can best meet its challenges and take advantage of its opportunities. And perhaps of particular interest is the identification of various influences of online use on the Orthodox community that are enormously consequential, yet frequently overlooked (such as online bullying, for example).
In light of the particularly profound psychological repercussions of internet use, Dr. David Pelcovitz was invited to serve as Guest Editor of this issue, and he graciously agreed. Dr. Pelcovitz is widely considered to be the Orthodox community’s leading expert in applying academic scholarship to the various social and psychological challenges of our time. He played an invaluable role in both identifying and framing the issues, as well as in introducing us to outstanding contributors. In addition, Dr. Pelcovitz’s own submission to the issue serves as an excellent introduction to some of the issue’s leading themes.
A key frustration to both academics and mental health practitioners is the compromised value of research in studying the impact of technology. Due to the meteoric pace at which technology evolves, by the time research is completed regarding the effects of certain uses of technology, advances and new applications render the previous research out of date. Nevertheless, there is much valuable wisdom that has been produced, and that can be used as the basis of general extrapolations. In that vein, topics addressed in this issue include child development and cognition, cyber bullying, digital citizenship and technology in the classroom, among others.
Also contributing to this issue are several rabbinic thinkers, including Rabbi Gil Student, Rabbi Efrem Goldberg and Klal Perspectives’ own Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, who each address some of the great, and most often ignored, spiritual challenges of the internet, well beyond the often discussed inappropriate content that is so readily available.
The articles appearing in this issue of Klal Perspectives:
- Dr. David Pelcovitz: Isolation versus Inoculation: Guidelines for Parents in Meeting the Challenge of Digital Technology
- Rabbi Gil Student: Torah Authority in the Internet Age
- Rabbi Efrem Goldberg: Technology – Playing With Fire
- Dr. Eli Shapiro: The Need to Teach our Children Digital Citizenship
- Dr. Yitzchak Schechter: Breathing Life into the Golem of Technology
- Dr. Gavriel Fagin: Towards a Model of Self Regulation for Internet Behavior Challenges In Adulthood
- Dr. Shmuel Mandelman: Technology and Media’s Impact on Child Development and Cognition
- Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein: Paradigm Shifts: Authority and Truth
- Dr. Rona Novick: Cyber Bullying in the Jewish Community
- Rick Magder: Exploring New Possibilities in Online Torah Learning
- Dr. Laya Salomon: Technology as a Learning Tool: An Educator’s Perspective
- Daniel Weiss: The Time in Between