Life is Too Good to spend in front of a screen

By Chani L.

I’m not a writer or anything. I just really wanted to share this in the simple language I know.
I was first inspired to write this after reading “Offline” in “Hello Cooks” by Victoria Dwek, published before Shavuos. I wish more women would go “offline.” All of my friends and even some family members live on social media, some for personal use (wasting days and nights, following every new thing, trying to be like xyz…) and some for “business” (We must have it for work!). Some spend more time and some less, but even the ones who spend less time on it are strongly influenced.
I also have an Etsy business, and social media could help a lot—if I used it. I don’t really have pressure from anyone not to use it. I totally look the “type” to have social media; you might even call me “with it.” But I don’t! And guess what? I’m very good with technology, but I still don’t want to set foot there.
When I tell people, “Oh, I don’t have a social media account,” the response is shock.
And I will tell you the reasons why I don’t want it:
A) I don’t want my children to have this challenge. I’m a mother of three, and although right now my oldest is only six, I feel that if their mother does not use social media, this will give them strength not to have it in such a crazy world where we all imitate others and go with the flow. I want them to be able to say, “But Mommy also didn’t have…”
B) I want to live life here. I think life is full of love and excitement. There is so much happening. But the people I see around me live all this only through a screen. I want to live life in reality.
One time I was sitting with a group of friends, one of whom was wearing a new dress. She posted a picture of herself wearing the dress on Instagram and kept checking to see if she got “likes.” While this was happening, I was thinking to myself, “Your friends are sitting right next to you. Can’t we tell you how you look? Why do you need the approval through a screen?”
C) It is addictive. Whenever a woman spends a lot of time on it, it’s not good for housekeeping and not good for the kids. They inevitably miss out on quality time with their mother.
D) It’s very influencing, and makes you want to follow all the new “fashions” and “trends” so that you can look like this one and that one.
E) You don’t live in the moment. When you prepare or are about to enjoy a nice meal, the thought process runs: How will it look on social media? You go out to the zoo with your kids and you’re busy capturing a picture that can show what a good mother you are, but in that moment, your head is in the phone.
F) I’m not the type to get into this…but it’s definitely against Yiddishkeit. We’re losing our real relationships with people and we’re wasting time.
G) Hashem isn’t limited to giving parnasah only to those with social media.
I think that if you “only” go into it once a day, some of these results will still happen.
Baruch Hashem, I always look put together and so do my kids. And I’m not sorry that I don’t always know about the newest headband that just came out. I hope my friends and neighbors can forgive me, but I’m still very loved and popular without it.
It’s good that we have Shabbos and Yom Tov, when we can connect to all those who live a social media life without distractions. Baruch Hashem for that.
Thanks for reading my opinion. I now have new strength to continue going on without social media.

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