On Thursday, March 12, as a continuation of its “Wired for Success” program, which was initiated last year, Shevach High School held a thought-provoking morning. Coordinated by technology program heads Hodaya Alcoby, Daniella Haim, and Dina Kiffel, under the guidance of Shevach Principal Rebbetzin Rochelle Hirtz, the theme of “Take Our Advice, Stay Off Your Device” was introduced.
The event began with an address delivered by well-known speaker and author of Tech Talk, Mrs. Aliza Feder. Mrs. Feder vividly created an awareness of the dangers of technology through an original analogy. She discussed what she called “The Game of Life.” In “The Game of Life,” there is “Game A” and a “Game B.” To get points in Game A, you need “shiny talents, looks, storybook family,” etc. To get points in Game B, you need to be a true eved Hashem, do mitzvos, etc. Game A, the game of popularity and talent, is often the one people choose to play, and Game B, which is truly the essential game of life, is more often forgotten.
Mrs. Feder explained that technology is an obstacle that removes a person from Game B, and puts her into Game A. We must make sure that we are not playing the wrong game, and as in any game, we must be familiar with all the rules of the game. Doing so will ensure that we are working towards the right goals, and will make us true winners.
Mrs. Feder also gave practical tips on how to lessen technology use. She gave ideas such as “pushing it off, app cleansing, and realizing the true purpose of life.” The speech was truly powerful and inspirational, making a tremendous impact on the girls. Each student took from the speech something different on her own level. One mother even relayed that because of the speech, her daughter in Shevach is now getting rid of her smartphone. In the words of Shevach junior Miriam Shira Chanales, “Shevach was truly privileged to have Mrs. Feder come to address its student body.”
After the speech, the technology program heads presented the students with a challenge. A kabalah was announced, inspiring the girls to power off their phones and all other devices a half an hour before going to sleep each night. In addition, they were challenged to put their phones away an extra half an hour before Shabbos. Calendars were distributed for the girls to mark off the days they were able to keep the challenge, with the incentive of prizes to be given out to those who fill in the entire month. This encouraged the girls in a fun way to decrease their screen time.
The program concluded with each girl enjoying a special snack served with iced coffee. In addition, phone pockets were given out with the program’s motto written on it: “Take Our Advice, Stay Off Your Device” with the hope that this will be a constant reminder to the girls to use their electronics less often. The girls left incentivized and looking forward to having more kabalos announced as the year continues!