Are You Being Left Behind?

The computer revolution is in full swing, are you a part of it? Can you avoid them? Where do you start?
So what is this email, Internet and web that everyone is talking about? Your neighbor’s 8-year-old knows more about computers than you do. Even your coworker’s grandmother is using it. Let’s face it everyone knows something about computers- except you. It has come to the point where you can’t even have a conversation nowadays without it coming up. If you’re thinking this fad will go the way of hula-hoops and vinyl records, I can’t reassure you.

Maybe its time to take a second look. Computers are everywhere, they are effecting every aspect of everyday life, and you are in danger of being left behind. At this point your worst fears are coming out, “they’re too hard to learn”, “”I’ll break it”, “what do I need them for. ” And of course “they’re too expensive”. But I’m here to tell you that those are just excuses and they can be easy to overcome.

It’s important to realize that computers can’t do everything. It won’t help you cook for shabat. It won’t help you learn a new language. It won’t make you a millionaire- no matter what the popular press says. But maybe it will help you find a good recipe, communicate with a friend in Israel, or at least pick up new interests. Almost all jobs nowadays use computers. I’m not talking about programming positions. I’m talking about receptionists, secretaries, office managers and everything in between. You don’t have to be a fast typist, you only need to know a few basic skills about computers and you can improve your marketability. Maybe even make a few extra dollars.

I won’t say that computers are easy to use. Its like saying talking is easy. Sure now that you can talk, it’s easy. Picture a little baby, he opens his mouth and nothing comes out. With time he can make a few sounds to the delight of the parents- until the noise gets too loud. Later, he figures out how to say a few words. With “mama”, “dada”, a few other key words and some pointing, he can communicate almost anything. Finally, with time, these words are put together and form real sentences. Talking is a skill that takes time to master but anyone can do it. Sometimes I wish talking wasn’t so easy, but that’s for another time. Once you know how to talk computers are almost easy. It may take time, but the key is to learn a few skills at a time. There’s no excuse “”I’m too old; too young; I just don’t understand these things””. A few years ago I trained a 62-year-old woman, Hanah, to use a computer for her job. Hanah was cursing the computer and complaining why couldn’t her job still be done on a typewriter. She even threatened to retire early. With time, through trial and error she learned how to use the computer. A few months later when she came back from a vacation in California, she told me that she actually missed the computer! Of course Hanah will never be an expert, but she doesn’t have to be. She uses it to do whatever tasks she needs to get her work done faster. She doesn’t have to know what Java, Shamava, or anything else to do with lava.

So get up buy a computer and get yourself into the 21st century. Don’t spend a lot, last year’s model will work fine for the things you use it for. Or even better, buy one off a friend. Experiment with it, don’t be afraid to break it. Remember, unless you throw it on the floor there is no damage you can do to it at this point that can’t be fixed. Take a class at a local community college. Maybe your 8-year-old neighbor can even show you a thing or two. When you get into the “”cyber-world””, as they say, send me a note “”I was not left behind””. My email address is

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