Thursday, December 15, 2022

New Survey Says that 80 percent of Charedim use the internet


A new survey conducted by the Israeli Internet Union and the Haredi Institute for Policy Research has released its latest findings on internet use among Israel's haredi population, relating to the year 2021. The survey shows that around 80 percent of haredim use the internet, even though around half have no home internet access.

Haredim from the Lithuanian stream use the internet more than Chassidim or Sephardim, while Sephardim are more likely than the other two haredi streams to access the internet via a mobile phone, and haredi women are more likely to access the internet via a mobile phone than haredi men are.

The survey also revealed the main concerns limiting internet use among haredim. Topping the list is the fear of becoming addicted, followed by worries of time-wasting and concern of the detrimental impact on children. Haredim are not particularly concerned that use of the internet will impact their family's matchmaking prospects or getting their children accepted into schools.

Haredim are also not overly concerned about exposure to inappropriate online content, due to their ubiquitous use of filtering devices. Around half of haredim use the Netfree filter, considered the strictest of all options. Virtually no one surveyed expressed any desire to be able to access content that was blocked by their filter.

Around 80 percent of haredim surveyed who use the internet said that they use the internet on a daily basis. Around 40 percent of internet users access sites via a home computer or tablet. Another 35 percent access the internet at their place of work. Just 14.7 percent access the internet via a mobile phone, and the remaining 10 percent use "internet stations" (privately-run services that charge a small payment for time at a computer terminal), a tablet service offered at some synagogues, or government-provided internet services.

Several distinct differences between the various haredi streams were identified - for instance, 84 percent of Lithuanian haredim use the internet as opposed to 74 percent of Sephardim. However, Sephardim are more likely to access the internet via a mobile phone (20 percent) than are Lithuanian haredim (13 percent) or Chassidim (11 percent).

Over 80 percent of haredim surveyed said that they were worried that internet use could lead to addiction and also that it constituted a waste of time. 76 percent of respondents expressed concern at the impact their use of the internet could have on their children, and 62 percent of respondents said that internet use led to a deterioration in quality of life. Just 34 percent were concerned that use of the internet could negatively impact their children's chances of finding a good marriage match or of being accepted to an educational institution.

Commenting on the survey's results, Dr. Assaf Viener, head of policy and regulation at the Israeli Internet Union, said, "It is clear that in recent years, the haredi sector has increasingly made use of the internet, finding ways to adapt it to their specific way of life and religious values. The survey's results also show that one should not relate to haredim as a bloc, as distinct streams with different mores can be clearly identified. For example, Lithuanian haredim are more likely to use the internet than Sephardim who are in turn more likely to use it than Chassidim."

Yehudit Militzki, a senior researcher at the Haredi Institute for Policy Research, noted that the survey found that "most haredim use the internet as a practical tool, for work-related purposes or for accessing services. Their use of the internet for cultural purposes including following the news is far less, which further illustrates that haredim by and large use the internet only when necessary. Virtually all haredim view the internet in a negative light and take extensive measures to safeguard their religious values when using it; their use of internet thus shows that they are able to adapt measures to deal with many features of modern life, and we might expect this to express itself in other areas as well, such as in higher education and in the workforce."

1 comment:

But of course said...

How else coud they read DIN?