Sometimes I like the firefox/bbc newsfeed, and sometimes it leads to much head banging as I see stories like this: Is that cellphone kosher?
So, stuff like no internet and no camera isn't remotely surprising, and as for the rest, uch but expected. The kosher symbol bothers me 'cause that's not what it's supposed to be for, but oh well it happens and I kind of get why. The area codes being important for matchmakers is a scarily accurate example of how insane the marriage game has gotten in the more orthodox circles. If anyone wants a reason for the low marriage rates, just look at the laundry list of requirements and impossible filters. Forget soul mate, I wonder how anyone fines more than three people to date. Seriously, though it's not good when the haredi community manages to make itself look bad to other Orthodox Jews.
The only thing that really boggles is the lack of text messages. When I was in Israel, texts were the primary way all of us (on a plan from one of the big orthodox rent-a-phone companies) kept in touch 'cause they're cheap and perfect for relaying locations and the like. And now, with so many places rolling out emergency announcement by texts, it seems even stupider to block 'em. The secular span complaint is a bit off, as it's not that hard to put the phone numbers on a "do not text" list and not let advertisers have those numbers. As for teens chatting? I fail to see how that's any different from regular calls or Israeli bar hopping or the myriad other things kids who want to break the rules will do anyway. The no text thing bothers me 'cause everyone in my local orthodox community texts and I haven't heard anyone getting huffy over it. Plus, I get my candle lighting times as texts and really, can't see the bad in that. (Granted I had to go online to sign up, but Chabad's one of the more interesting brands of chassidish Judaism.)
Man, October is killing me with the tons of Jewish holidays. One professor wanted a note from the chair of the department that Sukkos is a real holiday and that I really can't take my quiz that day. I've got two more exams on Sukkos that I've also gotta reschedule. Don't know when I'll study for 'em. Oh well.