13 Tamuz 5779 / Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | Torah Reading: Pinchas
 
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HomeHolidays and Fast DaysTu B'Shvat and ShovevimAre You a Web Addict?
 
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Are You a Web Addict?



Almost all of us claim that we have no time. Can we honestly say that every moment spent surfing on the web was a necessary productive endeavor?

 



The Shovevim weeks are here again (“Shovevim” in Hebrew is a word comprised of the first initials of the Torah portions Shmot, Vaera, Bo, Beshalach, Yitro, and Mishpatim). This time of the year is especially conducive to teshuva and to improving our personal holiness. We should be asking ourselves a few significant questions: Have we been living our lives the Hashem wants us to? Have we been using our time efficiently? Have we been learning Torah, praying, and doing acts of lovingkindness as much as we can? Almost all of us claim that we have no time. Can we honestly say that every moment spent surfing on the web was a necessary productive endeavor?

Web addicts, like most other addicts, either hate to admit or totally deny their addiction. Here's a diagnostic self-help test we put together for those who desire to take an honest look at themselves. By testing ourselves, we avoid being tested by the Heavenly Court, which scrutinizes everything we do with a very high-powered microscope. Try it – it will give you significant insight about yourself:
 
Web-addiction Diagnostic Self-Test
 
1. Do you lose track of time while online?
2. Do you surf past your bedtime twice or more a week?
3. Do you feel irritated or angry when someone interrupts web-surfing time?
4. Do you check your email box several times a day?
5. Are you irritable when offline?
6. Are you online when you should be doing homework or chores?
7. Do you prefer time online rather than time with friends or family?
8. Is the web your first destination after the termination of the Sabbath?
9. Do you disobey time limits that your parents or spouse have set for internet usage?
10. Do you sneak online at work or at home when no one is around?
11. Are you more tired and irritable than before the internet was a part of your life?
12. Do you think about the computer when offline?
13. Do you log on with excitement and anticipation?
14. Do you feel happiest when you're online?
 
Answer yes or no as candidly as you can to the above 14 questions. Now, count your yes answers.
 
Score chart:
 
10 - 14 yes answers: Hard-core web addict; you're surely performing way below optimal level in other areas of your life. Either your marriage, your job, or your schoolwork is in grave danger, and so is your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
 
6 - 9 yes answers: Strong web-addictive tendencies. Beware of marital and job problems; you most certainly need to do teshuva for not learning and praying enough.
 
3 - 5 yes answers: Avid web jockey: Take a good hard look at your priorities in life; try exercising and learning more.
 
0 - 2 yes answers: Normal web user.
 
Once again, now is a wonderful time of year for teshuva and self-correction. If we've fallen into the internet trap, we'd be best advised to add more Torah and physical activity to our lives. If you scored badly on the self test, don't lose heart: Rebbe Nachman of Breslev says that if you believe you can ruin something, then believe you can correct it too. Hashem will be more than happy to help us correct whatever needs correcting in our lives - all we have to do is ask.
 
 
By the way, personal prayer on the beach knocks the daylights out of websurfing any day of the week. Give it a try! If you don't live by the beach, try a park or river; anywhere is a good place to talk to Hashem.
 
 
(We invite you to visit Rabbi Lazer Brody’s award-winning daily web journal Lazer Beams)




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