A single parent living in a flat in a rural town, I’ve felt the isolation of the pandemic. Admittedly as an introvert with a young baby that hasn’t always been a bad thing. For the most part I rarely get bored and like my own company. Socialising though enjoyable, always comes with what feels like a 2 day hangover even when there is no booze involved. However, not being able to share the joy of my baby daughter with my nearest and dearest was pretty brutal. I needed face to face contact to share how unbearable my postnatal anxiety was becoming. Not having it has undoubtedly had a lasting impact on me. But I had a smart phone albeit with a cracked screen to keep me somewhat connected to my people. It was my lifeline.
The Digital Pandemic
Last week, it all went dark. My phone leapt from my pocket for the final time. 4 days and a hefty early upgrade fee later I had a new phone. I was able to use my laptop to keep in touch with family and friends and keep working on The Wee Souk. Hardly a harrowing experience but it got me thinking about digital poverty and digital literacy during the pandemic and in its aftermath. The Scottish Government found in 2017 that over a third of low income households have no internet access. During the last year that means a third of low income households have faced extreme isolation, little to no access to education and barriers to economic support and employment. Unemployment is set to dramatically increase over the coming months and disproportionately effect people under 25.
A huge loss to communities has been the use of a local library & its digital services (well, the ones the Tories haven’t got round to closing yet – sorry, not sorry). In the demand for education to continue throughout the pandemic, libraries appear to have been all but forgotten. Living without internet access negatively affects housing, employment and even health outcomes.
Happy to Help
With this in mind, I would like to volunteer to help anyone who is struggling to find work by assisting them with a CV and covering letter. This is not my profession but I’ve got a pretty good track record with finding employment. So if you know someone who is trying to get a CV together on a smart phone or is simply writing one for the first time, please send them my phone number and I’d be glad to help.