High school girls with Internet access

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  • #611215
    TorahMom
    Participant

    I am currently looking into seminaries for my 12th grade daughter. When I see high school girls posting with questions about a specific seminary, it makes me nervous about sending my daughter there because I don’t think a seminary where the girls who will go there have internet access while still in high school is the type of seminary for my daughter. Am I the only one who thinks like this? Does it make any sense to anyone else?

    #1043994
    Ma Chovaso
    Member

    There is a big world out there, and there are many useful and practical advantages to the internet, for example 12th graders getting feedback on sem options. It seems you do not allow your high school age children internet access, which is your rightful authority to exercise, but perhaps it would be wise to not be so concerned about other people’s children, as many good bais yaakov girls have some kind of internet access in this day in age.

    The assumption that your sheltered daughter would not be safe in an environment with girls who know how to navigate the internet… well it seems a bit naive and harmful.

    If your daughter is old enough to attend seminary, she is probably old enough for a little bit of exposure.

    Kol Tuv

    #1043995
    Mr Sfardi
    Participant

    These seminary threads don’t stop lol

    Every hr someone else starts a seminary thread. I’ll tell u one thing: NOONE GIVES A DARN. If u have a problem with seminary IT’S SIMPLE – JUST DONT GO!!!!

    Every little issue with sem, someone starts a new thread

    #1043996
    fkelly
    Member

    It’ll be quite hard then for you to find a seminary for her. At least in my school, the majority of the girls have internet access.

    #1043997
    Dr. Horse
    Member

    “I wouldn’t belong to any organization that would have me as a member.”

    #1043998
    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    I’m more worried about parents with internet access asking for their daughters.

    #1043999
    WIY
    Member

    Torahmom

    I feel bad for your daughter she’s going to rebel her brains off in Israel if this is how you treat her.

    #1044000
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Lol. You have internet, and use it for things like the coffee room (which is obviously not for work or shopping or paying bills), and then you don’t want your daughter to do the same?

    I agree with torah.

    #1044001
    streekgeek
    Participant

    WIY – Thanks for posting what I was too scared to post.

    #1044002

    A mature, experienced adult having Internet access is very different than a high schooler having it. Can’t you see this crucial difference?

    #1044003
    Bookworm120
    Participant

    @Torahmom – I wish I knew what to tell you. It’s a tough call, but if you know that she’s not a reckless websurfer while she’s living with you, whether inside or outside of your home, I wouldn’t worry so much about other seminary girls being a bad influence on her when it comes to Internet access.

    Just playing devil’s advocate here, but how do you figure she will contact you while she’s away? Calling long-distance can cost a lot of money, so you might want to consider email.

    Good luck making the right decision for her. I think our fellow posters here have raised some interesting points.

    #1044004
    writersoul
    Member

    I’m a twelfth-grade girl who, quite evidently, has internet. If this is something that worries you, then probably the seminary I’m interested in isn’t for you anyway, but I can tell you that personally, in my unbiased opinion, I am not tamei. My friends who are applying to BJJ, Bnos Sara, Bnos Chava, Mesores Rochel, Machon Raaya, Meohr, or pick a sem of your choice who all have internet are not tamei either. Any sem you send your daughter to will have girls attending who have used the internet. Now that you’ve asked, at least, you can face the truth and not get a giga shock when your daughter gets back from sem…

    The best bet for you is probably to make sure that the seminary she attends does not allow internet access in seminary. It’s at least a start, if that’s what you REALLY want to prioritize. But please, PLEASE focus on the quality of the girls in other areas, the quality of the hanhalah, and so many other factors before crossing off options for reasons like this.

    #1044005

    I don’t know much about seminary but IME high school girls with internet access are usually undercover cops. DON’T FALL FOR IT!!!

    #1044006
    TorahMom
    Participant

    rationalfrummie – my sentiments exactly, although pba you do have a point to some extent. I actually have been trying since the Citifield asifa to cut back on my use of the internet other than for banking, email, etc, specifically so that my children should not see hypocrisy in their parents – i.e. do as I say, not as I do. I try to impress on them that the internet can be a useful tool at times, but it is also very dangerous (especially for young, impressionable, and CURIOUS teenagers), and should only be used when necessary and with others around for shemira. Yeshiva world is one of the only “unnecessary” sites I now allow myself to go on (the others are Only Simchas and weight watchers – oops, that one IS necessary), and even that I go to much less often than I used to. I’ve only started going on recently to check out what people have to say about the different seminaries – so I guess you could say that’s for tachlis. But when all is said and done, I do believe there is a HUGE difference between a middle-aged mother and a 17 year old girl having internet access.

    To be dan lechaf zechus, it could be that the girls posting are sitting with one of their parents as they are doing so, and do not have their own access. As I sometimes do with my daughter when she needs to look something up.

    WIY, I don’t think you are correct. My daughter is not the rebellious type at all. Although there are times she wishes she could have internet access, I believe she understands that I am trying to protect her, not stifle her. I do not think I am “treating” her badly – I am just trying to impress on her and all my other children how dangerous the internet can be, and how careful we must be when using it, so that when she eventually does need to use it (for work or college after seminary), she will have it ingrained in her psyche how careful she must be when using it.

    Bookworm – most parents of seminary girls that I know stay in touch with their daughters via telephone – there are pretty cheap cellphone plans for calling between US and Israel, or the sem has a dsl line – as I did with my older daughter and son. If I remember correctly, in my older daughter’s sem (it was a number of years ago) we were able to send an email to the school addressed to her, which they would print out and give to her, but the girls did not have access to send email back.

    #1044007
    batseven
    Participant

    I’m really sorry guys, but I agree with TorahMom 1,000%.

    As a post- seminary girl, whos been out a couple of years, I am so grateful to my parents, for denying me internet access when I was in highschool.

    Now I need it for college, and I have my laptop. I never, ever felt stifled in highschool, and I now know how to use my internet responsibly.

    My parents were the smartest things in the world, and there was no reason whatsoever for me to have internet in highschool, when I was too young and immature to be trusted with even filtered internet. I am grateful that I did not ruin my life forever when I was in highschool.

    TorahMom- keep up the good work of protecting your daughter, and as long as she will be able to have internet access when she needs it- for school,work, it is the most sensible thing in the world.

    Don’t try to convince me that your kid will feel stifled or rebel, because that I can tell you, that I never felt that way.

    Sure, there will be kids in highschool that didn’t have internet and they rebelled, but that does not have to do with the internet, as much as their own issues, and they would have probably rebelled anyways.

    Hatzlacha!!

    #1044008
    writersoul
    Member

    batseven: your implication (conscious or not) is that high school girls cannot use the internet responsibly. That is absolutely untrue. As a teenager online, I use the internet in what is in my opinion a responsible way. I know that most of my internet use is communicating with my friends and research for school- and recreational things I do are vetted by my parents. (However many posts I may write, YWN actually uses a very small percentage of my time…) I believe that children need to be told how to use the internet responsibly and to be given positive messages about healthy internet use EVEN IF they are not permitted to use the internet at that point.

    Your evidence is circumstantial. I can just as easily (and truthfully) say that I’ve gone through high school aided by responsible internet use and that I was mature about it. Both of our statements have relatively equal weight- neither of us is proving anything. My only point is not to think that girls who DO use internet are not necessarily “frum” enough (a word I absolutely abhor but that’s a rant for a different day).

    #1044009
    jbaldy22
    Member

    batseven: TorahMom not allowing her daughter to go online is fine. TorahMom talking about not sending her daughter to any seminary that has girls who do have internet in their house is crazy and naive. good luck finding such a seminary because to my knowledge it doesn’t exist. I agree with basically everything Ma Chovaso said.

    #1044010

    “My parents were the smartest things in the world”

    ????

    You’re a post seminary girl and you a) literally think that your parents are smarter than ANYONE ELSE and b) refer to your parents as THINGS?

    ?????

    #1044011

    Writersoul said “but I can tell you that personally, in my unbiased opinion, I am not tamei”.

    That is EXACTLY what someone who is tamei would say.

    #1044012
    fkelly
    Member

    And what would someone who really isn’t tamei say? Exact same thing. So you really aren’t proving any point, Veltz.

    #1044013
    writersoul
    Member

    VM: Well I wouldn’t know what a tamei person would say, because I’m not tamei.

    If I were tamei, then I’d know that that’s what tamei people would say and I’d make sure not to say it.

    #1044014
    streekgeek
    Participant

    I never ever quote anything cuz I’m not smart enough too, but one thing i do know: “Chanoch l’naar al pi darko”. Each child is different, and what’s beneficial for one could be a pitfall for another. No one can go out and make a blatant statement that says all high school girls should or should not have internet.

    Torahmom – I’m so happy to hear that you have a wonderful daughter and I hope you find the proper place for her next year, and you should see only nachas from her!

    batseven – glad you were able to survive until now without the shmutz, but you can’t say that this is the way to go with everyone just because YOU didn’t feel stifled. There are plenty that do.

    #1044015
    TorahMom
    Participant

    jbaldy22 – I did not say anything about the girls having internet in their house. I was talking about the girls having their own access to the internet. By the way, I also was not implying that such girls are not “good” girls, just that it would appear that they and their families probably have a different outlook regarding the use of the internet than I want to convey to my children. Although not everyone will agree with me, I also believe that most girls who have internet access while still in high school will more likely to have been exposed to certain things that I don’t agree girls that age should be exposed to – and would probably share those things with their friends. I am of the persuasion that girls being sheltered to at least some degree, even at this age is a good thing (I know others feel that at this age a girl should be mature enough not to need to be sheltered, but I disagree).

    #1044016
    jbaldy22
    Member

    @TorahMom

    I know of plenty of girls from a wide variety of good seminaries that have email addresses and access to the internet. I feel that realistically the most you can probably hope for even in the frumer seminaries is for them to have filtered internet and even that may be a stretch. I can guarantee that whatever seminary you send your daughter to she will be exposed to girls who have hashkafos that you don’t agree with. I don’t believe that such a degree of sheltering for a girl that age is healthy or practical. The smartest thing to do would be to ask your rav whether such a degree of sheltering is necessary.

    #1044017

    Fkelly and Writersoul: If you were tamei, you would say it, which means that tamei people and non-tamei people both say it. Writersoul counters that if she were tamei she would know that that is what she’d be expected to say and would avoid saying it, but that would be a bad decision because since people who are not tamei say that they are not tamei, the only people who could say something else are tamei people who realize what they ought to say and diverge from it. But by diverging, she’d be giving away that she’s tamei and thus would not say it.

    My point wasn’t that she should say something else, my point was that since tamei and non-tamei people both say it, saying it is a waste of words.

    #1044018

    yes, girls have internet access but just because they are posting on YWN doesn’t mean they have internet access. It means that they are currently online. maybe their parent is supervising? maybe they don’t have a filter that only allows access to very few websites?

    Another point is that you can’t keep your daughter sheltered forever. My parents do not shelter me or my siblings. They allow me to watch movies, have a drink, have an iPhone, internet etc. On the other hand, there is to internet on my phone. I can’t go to the theatre or cinema. I only watch parent approved movies. Girls in my class are watching movies without their parents knowing what they are doing. I don’t feel the need to go behind my parents back because they allow me to do so many things. Of course not everyone is going to agree with this style of parenting, but I find that i am not tempted to look up bad things because they have placed trust in me and i don’t want to break that. They allow me to wears denim skirts. While many girls in my school don’t always ensure that their knees are covered, i do. Why? I don’t feel the desire to go against my parents as they allow me to do so many other things.

    I hope this helps!

    #1044019
    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit
    Participant

    I’m with writersoul here. I have had limited controlled internet access from around 13 years old, and I think I benefited from it. I never had this forbidden fruit attraction to the internet, which to this day gives me better control over how I use it.

    #1044020
    TorahMom
    Participant

    need seminary help – please see what I wrote in an earlier post in this thread:

    “To be dan lechaf zechus, it could be that the girls posting are sitting with one of their parents as they are doing so, and do not have their own access. As I sometimes do with my daughter when she needs to look something up.”

    As you can also see from this post, it’s not like I never let my daughter look at the internet at all, but only with supervision. By the way, I’m not really worried that my daughter would bedavka try to look up bad things, but it is so easy to get to the wrong place by accident on the internet – even by simply typing one letter by accident. Although I do have a very good filter, I am too nervous to trust it 100%.

    #1044021
    Redleg
    Participant

    TorahMom, it depends on what you mean by ‘accident” and “bad things”. Back in the early days of the internet it was relatively easy to accidentally get to an “inappropriate” site. Further, such sites would “mousetrap”you and the only way to get out of them was to shut down your browser (Webcrawler was the browser). Today, the way Internet providers run their servers, it’s almost impossible to get to such sites by accident.

    On the other hand, if you do a Google search on a Torah topic, it is easily possible to get to a site with who’s hashgafa you disagree or find objectionable. So if that’s what you mean by “wrong place”, you’re right.

    To my mind, social networking sites and chat rooms are a bigger danger to young minds than sites like, “FFFFF” and “DDDDD”. Mind you, not all networking sites are bad. Linkedin is useful but I doubt that a teenager would find it interesting.

    #1044022
    Shraga18
    Participant

    TorahMom,

    Kudos to you. I’m with you 100%. Please ignore all the posters here who obviously have negios to convince themselves that teenagers using the internet is absolutely fine. Just keep asking yourself a very simple, but paramount, question: what does HKB”H want you to do?

    #1044023

    I apologise Torah Mom. couldn’t be bothered reading the whole thread.

    #1044024
    writersoul
    Member

    VM: So someone who is tamei would be sneaky and lying and would pretend that they are not tamei. Someone who is not tamei would be truthful and say they are not tamei.

    I choose to believe, rather, that I am in denial.

    #1044025
    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Torah Mom: Seminary is a big choice, but hey, now its her life and she can choose, Im sure, and look Im here!!! Make sure she has some stuff blocked, if you feel the need, but if she dosent find out or see stuff on her own, then she will with someone else who dosent realize she hasnt been exposed to that sort of stuff

    ??????

    #1044026
    Redleg
    Participant

    Need Seminary Help, my bracha to you is that you should grow to be the same kind of mother your mom is. You should thank the Eibishter every day that you have such wise parents (and I’d bet you do). And I’ll tell you something else. Any seminary that has a problem with the way you were raised is a seminary that doesn’t deserve to have you as a student.

    #1044027
    Robertz
    Member

    Now Rabbi Moderator you must not let this post go through as it may opine contrary to torah values. But…young girls having internet access is very dangerous as it might lead to shiduchim

    #1044028

    As a teenager myself, i do see others without internet who either have a lot more wholesome life, or sneak out of their houses under the pretext of ‘chessed’ and borrow someone else’s wifi. Every child is different, so i guess you should tailor their computer use to their needs. However, in my experience, there is no such thing as a seminary without girls using the internet, maybe look into a seminary that monitors the internet use, e.g. has like a seminary email account or something?

    #1044029
    Ma Chovaso
    Member

    I know each home is different, but to me it sounds like Torah Mom does not trust her 12th grader.

    I am not advocating giving children access to things that they are truly too young to handle, but the internet has become an integral component of societal functioning, and to deny all access to young adults is essentially an unhealthy form of coddling.

    With parents like these, how will young adults, our future, develop the competency to view the world through their own eyes, and not through the eyes of their hovering parents?

    A message to all the Torah Moms out there: Trust your children. Trust the chinuch you have worked so hard to instill.

    #1044030
    writersoul
    Member

    Ma Chovaso: I don’t know about this particular case, but otherwise what you say is a fantastic point. The fact that my parents trust me to make the right decisions absolutely contributes to my responsibility- they trust me to be an adult so I’d sure better start acting like one.

    #1044031
    the-art-of-moi
    Participant

    TorahMom-

    Are you looking to adopt anyone? cuz I’m available. You are so right. All it takes is one typo and your daughter can descend to the depths of impurity. Kudos to all the responsible parents out there!

    #1044032
    jbaldy22
    Member

    I don’t know how much I would faith or trust I would have if it was a teenage boy we were talking about. But I do agree that no access at all will probably not work in most cases either. I am not looking forward to dealing with that issue once my kids are that age.

    #1044033

    Thank you for your brocha. You made my day!! 🙂

    #1044034
    writersoul
    Member

    I guess you just have to know your kid.

    #1044035
    cinderella
    Member

    Every single seminary will have girls who had internet access while still in high school. What a ridiculous factor in your decision.

    I went to Machon Raaya. I had internet access in high school. As did all my friends. So you can now take Machon Raaya off your list of potential seminaries.

    #1044036

    Cinderella,

    TorahMom was inquiring about frum seminaries…

    #1044037
    TorahMom
    Participant

    “So you can now take Machon Raaya off your list of potential seminaries.”

    No offense, cinderella, but Machon Raaya never was on our list of potential seminaries, for reasons other than girls having internet access. Now we have another reason not to want to send our daughter there. We might consider a seminary where SOME of the girls have had internet access, but definitely not a seminary where the majority of girls have. We would rather send our daughter to a seminary where at least MOST of the girls come from homes where it is understood that it is not good for teenagers to have unsupervised access to the internet.

    Also, I find your tone very offensive – ” What a ridiculous factor in your decision.” If wanting to protect our daughter from the possibility of being exposed to the tuma’ah and schmutz out there on the internet is considered ridiculous, then so be it. I’d rather be safe and ridiculous, than sorry.

    #1044038
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    One of my biggest critsicms today is people who say I dont want to associated my kids with THOSE kids because they are not like us

    #1044040
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Gateshead (R. Falk’s Yeshiva). I imagine the girls there don’t have Tumah/internet.

    #1044041
    interjection
    Participant

    “One of my biggest critsicms today is people who say I dont want to associated my kids with THOSE kids because they are not like us”

    zahavasdad: If you haven’t yet, I think you should hear what Rav Shteinman has to say about those parents (I believe the video clip is called chinuch, or something similar). I think you would like it a lot.

    #1044042
    LevAryeh
    Member

    Taking guns away from bad people won’t make them stop killing.

    On the other hand, giving guns to good people might make them want to start killing.

    But history has proven that that’s not true.

    #1044043
    the-art-of-moi
    Participant

    LAB-

    Where do you get these lines from? You must be very creative!

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