Cheshbon Hanefesh: Are You Obsessed With Your iPhone?

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By R. S.

Time. Don’t we all wish we had more time? The only thing we have full control over said the great Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Chaim Shmulevitz ZT”L, is our time.

Funny that our time is really the only thing we control and we all feel we don’t have enough of it.

Health, wealth, children and everything we can think of is from Hashem, but what will we do with our time?

As we approach the Yomim Noraim it is incumbent upon us to make some sort of cheshbon hanefesh.

Many of us have “time saving” devices that we can’t imagine living without, but are they really saving us time?

Below is a series of questions to determine how we can use our time wisely.

1) How much time do you spend daily on your computer?
2) How much of that time is work related?
3) How many emails are an absolute necessity for your work or job?
4) How much time do you spend on the internet?
5) Of the time you spend on the internet, how much was work related?
6) Of the work related time spent on the internet, how much of it was absolutely necessary? (If you are having difficulty answering this then ask yourself “if my Rov or boss walked in, would I have felt silly or quickly closed the page to avoid him seeing my screen even though it was work related”).
7) How much time do you spend daily on your smartphone?
8) How much of it was important business related matters?
9) What percentage of your time was spent playing games, searching the web for non-business use, searching for apps, using apps, on social networking sites or communicating for non-business matters?
10) Imagine your computer died and your phone battery died. There is a power outage and it won’t be restored for another hour. Would you panic not knowing how to occupy yourself?

So you get the idea that maybe you spent a little extra time on things that maybe are time wasters.


Now ask yourself the following question:

Let’s step back in time. The world has just discovered internet and smartphones. You are offered a job that will require some of this new technology. Imagine this is your current job that you have right now. What would you NEED to absolutely be able to function properly in your job setting? Which websites and emails from which people? Which apps? Which people would you HAVE TO communicate with on social media and whatsapp? After you answer these questions take the test again and see if the answers are different than the first time.


After you completed the first two steps you may have a feeling that you are wasting some time. Try this.

THE DAY HAS FINALLY COME! Moshiach is here to greet us. You grab your finest clothes and run out to greet him. You slip your iPhone into your pocket to capture the moment and whatsapp it across all your chats and across the world! As you are holding up you phone there is an announcement, “please make a single file line”. As you approach the Moshiach you see he is asking some questions and some people are proceeding ahead to the Kanfei Nesharim while others look dejected. It’s your turn and you are face to face with Moshiach! After so many years of galus! Finally! So moshicah asks you what you do for a living. He then asks you (repeat the above 10 questions here). You really want to move along but depending on your truly honest answers that is the only way to proceed.


The great day of judgement arrives! ROSH HASHANA, we greet the RIBONO SHEL OLAM HIMSELF. Repeat the 10 questions.

Ask yourself these questions now.
Do I need that computer/smartphone?
If I do, can I use it for business only and leave it in my car so my children aren’t affected by it?
If I do, does it have the proper shmira on it?
Do I really need access to all the sites and everything else I have?


It’s not saving you ANY time.



  1. Oy are you right!!
    Nothing has affected our society as negatively as the cellphone. I am not talking at all about unKosher usages – that’s a totally different issue – and a true and important one.
    I am referring to how the cellphone made us all into full-fledged IDIOTS. We have totally lost our “sechel” and brains to this gadget.
    Mothers pushing carriages into oncoming traffic while talking on the cellphone – totally oblivious to the dangers.
    People driving while talking on the cellphone. All research proves that we lose up to 65% of our attention when talking on the cellphone. And you are driving a killer-machine weighing 3,500+ lbs.
    And to those texting while driving – you are 1st class murderers.
    How about people talking loudly on the street and stores about personal issues – how not-tzniusdik
    I am not even talking about the “chutzpa” of even looking at your cellphone during davening – let alone talking on it.
    The list goes on and on. You get my drift.
    99% of the cellphone users lost their “sechel” and became total IDIOTS.
    Stop it while you still can. The price you will pay is way too expensive.
    Ksiva Vachasima Tovah

  2. for those who want to spend quality time on computer or smartphone (Chas Vesholom), download “oo’velech’techa baaderch”. (go to app store etc and type in “on your way”. when the green icon shows up, downloaded.) You’ll never waste time again. It got all you can think of plus much much more.
    siddur – all versions including slichos, perek shirah, siyum mesechtah,all kinds of bakashas.
    tanach – includes torah with rashi, ramban, ohr hachayim, kli yakar +++
    mishneh – includes toseftah
    gemarah – includes rashi, todfos, and yerushalmi
    midrashim – some you never heard of
    halacha – Tur, Shulchan Aruch, kitzur +++
    musar – everthing
    machshava – nefesh hachayim, maharal 9whole thing) ++.
    chasidus – avodas yisroel, meor einayim noam elimelech ++
    Kabbalah – all (don’t ask)
    check it out and use your treif smartphone for ruchnious.

  3. boy do i waste time reading news. on a average day i spend over 2 FULL HOURS just on reading news & this is besides other business related internet usages. i am reading news until late at night

    Perhaps you can convince me or guide me how to remove this from my life, cause honestly i am a person who really appreciate every minute of life as a gift from Hashem “u’vachartz b’chaim” & cannot afford to waste so much precious time on just reading news BUT i still feel the need to know whats going on in the world.

    of course the simple solution is to stop reading the news & not worry about the world & we all know that if something is really nogea to you then you will find out someway or another without the need to read it on the internet

  4. As with anything else in the physical world, from a pen to a dumb phone to a smart phone to an iPhone, all things can be used for good or not.

    It’s not about the cheftzah, it’s all about the gavrah. Get over it, grow up, and take control of yourself.


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