As told to Rebbetzin Sara Gross
My daughter Leah was in high school and had a great group of friends. They were frum and fun, and all-around wonderful girls. Each girl had a flip phone and texting was the norm for them. I noticed that Leah was texting a lot. She was constantly in touch with her friends, texting away. One of Leah’s high school teachers approached her one day and brought up Leah’s texting. She was close to her and felt that the texting was getting out of hand. The teacher challenged Leah to try removing texting from her phone. Leah came home feeling overwhelmed. She respected this teacher and wanted to take her advice, but she couldn’t imagine doing it. I understood how Leah felt. I was always texting too. It was a big part of my life. Without thinking it through, I blurted out, “If you get rid of texting, I will do it with you.”
My daughter was shocked. “You would really get rid of texting, Ma? How?” I gulped, thinking about what it would really entail. Then I took a deep breath and said, “Yes, I would get rid of texting if you did it.” My daughter smiled at me and said she would do it then. The first few days (or weeks!) were rough, but I stayed strong. After some time, I slowly surprised myself and even found that I was enjoying not texting. It’s true, it took me more time to speak to people rather than quickly texting them, time I truly didn’t believe I had in my hectic day, but it was well worth it. When Leah returned from seminary, she decided she wanted to start texting again, but with control. I was fine with that, but when I went to bed that night, I tossed and turned, thinking how I didn’t want to start texting again. Then I realized that just because she was, I did not have to. The rest is history. I have not texted in years and do not miss it at all. My relationships are stronger, and I feel that communicating verbally or in person is better for my life.
Did You Know? Did you know that there are a lot of options for someone who doesn’t have a smartphone to get information they need? If you need directions and don’t have a GPS, you can text your address and destination to WAZE and for a very minimal cost a list of directions is texted back to you. The number is 732-994-6947. If you need to know when sundown is where you are, you can text for Zmanim at 516-261-6262 with the city, zip or nearest airport, and they will text you the zman.
Additionally, there is a free service to help people utilize the services on the internet without going on by themselves. You can call a hotline and somebody will do whatever you need. The number is 1877-OUT-WORQ.To share a tech triumph or story of chizuk to inspire others, please email Techtriumphs@tagbaltimore.org or call 410-449-1824 and choose option 5.
This is a service of TAG Baltimore. TAG Baltimore is an organization that provides technology awareness, education, and support. They can be reached at 410-449-1824 or firstname.lastname@example.org.