October 21, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am #610957
Is there hope is there for a 20 year boy who uses the internet inappropriately and has been doing so for two years?October 21, 2013 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #982071Burnt SteakParticipant
Yes there is. You are not alone. I know many people who struggle with the same problem. Some of my friends had a competition to see who could remain ‘clean’ the longest. The loser had to pay a sum.
Also believe me that in a way, you are lucky that it has only been two years and not longer. Find someone that you can talk to. Filters don’t work so well but they do give you time to think if you really want to use the internet in that way. Try to get into a habit that whenever you feel that urge, you do pushups or something else physically intense.
If all that fails keeps trying. It is extremely hard to stop cold turkey. You may not become a master overnight. But if you put in the hard work, you will see results.
I am assuming that you are from a circle that does shidduch dating, otherwise I would suggest to get a girlfriend (shomer or not it would be up to you). Then you would feel bad ‘cheating’ on her.October 21, 2013 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #982072☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
BS, let me get this straight: someone has a problem with arayos, so as an alternative outlet, you’re suggesting arayos?October 21, 2013 6:43 pm at 6:43 pm #982073berntoutParticipant
Burnt Steak: Thats a worse solution then the problem itself. Having a gf is an issur doraysa and it may lead to much much worse things. That is a horrible idea in every way.October 21, 2013 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #982074WIYMember
Is there hope? Yes but only if he really wants to change. Obviously the first step is the filtration systems + monitoring. Get something that you cant break through.October 21, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm #982075fkellyMember
Well an addiction usually needs rehab/12 step programs/therapy. If they’re willing to do those and are motivated to change there’s a good chance they can get help.October 22, 2013 1:54 am at 1:54 am #982076the-art-of-moiParticipant
Yes, yes, and yes. I have been through what you are going through and here is a link to a thread about it.
I really reccomend http://www.guardyoureyes.com.October 22, 2013 2:17 am at 2:17 am #982077
the most important thing in this situation is a good mentor. unfortunately i have seen how many rebbeim have (mis)reacted to such questions so it is important to pick wisely.October 22, 2013 8:54 am at 8:54 am #982079no longer need seminaryMember
fkelly- not everyone needs all those programs. I for example know of someone who was using the internet inappropriately for a year- nothing too serious coz he was 13 but he made a pen name on a dating website just for fun and was watching youtube videos even though he wasnt allowed any internet access whatsover. His parents found out and confiscated the computer for about 1 month. Then they gave it back with a new internet password. he now has internet on his computer but he says he would never do what he did again because he was so scared when he was 13 because he wasnt able to control himself and stop the desire. Baruch Hashem he was never Mechallel Shabbos. He now goes on youtube occasionally, and uses internet daily but his parents are okay with this because they are quite modern. They constantly check his history, although now it is less often because they see that he can know be trusted. He learnt the hard way but now he is on the right path again. Basically, he didnt go through one of these programs, he just had mentoring from his parents. of course he had to go through a big speech before he could get his laptop back but he says that he is happy that his parents caught him when they did or else it might have been too late!October 22, 2013 5:30 pm at 5:30 pm #982080SanityIsOverratedParticipant
There is always hope! You are not the first, and sadly not the last either with this problem. Don’t feel so alone or helpless, because you’re not. Many have become addicts, and there are many who have successfully fought the addiction as well. I knew one guy at 80 years old. There are programs out there, but as jbaldy22 said, a mentor is the best. Find someone trustworthy who can help you beat this, because you CAN beat it!October 22, 2013 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #982081Veltz MeshugenerMember
I do not understand the OP. Any hope in what regard? Hope to live a fulfilling life? Why not? Lots of people do lots of aveiros and lead otherwise fulfilling lives. As compared to other habits, it’s not a particularly huge impediment outside of the challenge itself. For example, you’re a lot better off struggling with internet porn than with a hot temper or homosexuality.October 22, 2013 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm #982082berntoutParticipant
VM: That’s a silly question. Obviously the OP is asking if there’s hope for such a person to get out of this terrible addiction and all its negative consequences. How does being able to fulfill an otherwise fulfilling life despite having an atrocious problem solve anything?October 22, 2013 9:23 pm at 9:23 pm #982083
actually agree very strongly with VM that the way the op asked the question was ridiculous. just because a person does an aveira even countless times does not mean that he isnt capable of solving anything. this highly incorrect attitude is part of what drives people off of the derech. you are writing off a significant portion of the population be very very careful.
i am sure the masseh with r’ elazar ben dordayah has been quoted on this subject a thousand times. a person can do tshuva on such a thing even later in life. one of the tricks of the yetzer harah is to trick a person in to thinking they are horrible and have no hope. if a person would be able to have the self-esteem to think they are someone worthy sometimes it is easier to withstand temptation as a person would say how can a person like me do something like that. have heard this shmuess many times and it is worth repeating for the ones who don’t know.October 22, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #982084Veltz MeshugenerMember
Berntout: There were a lot of ways that the question could have been understood, taken in the context of the hype that internet gets in the frum world. In fact, my post directly addressed part of what you yourself wrote, “and all its negative consequences”.October 23, 2013 3:06 am at 3:06 am #982085smile4lifeParticipant
a 12 step program is usually for people who hit rock bottom. That is unlikely the case considering that it has only been 2 years. It is also unlikely that it has escalated into a full fledged addiction. First step is to get webchaver. They have a filter and a tracking program so that someone you respect gets bimonthly updates on what websites you have been going to. Your chaver does not have to know that you have been struggling. Just tell him that your rebbe said that it is assur to have internet without it (or something to that effect).
editedOctober 23, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am #982086fkellyMember
You obviously don’t understand addiction. If he has an addictive personality (and I’m not necessarily saying he does) then putting a filter won’t help. He’ll find something else. I say this from experience. At what point it was books. Then it was texting. And then it was internet. And unless you address the root problem, it’ll continue.October 23, 2013 3:53 pm at 3:53 pm #982087Kosher HamMember
You’ve got 1 year, at the most, to instill delayed gratification & how to be a person of integrity in this young man before he turns 21 & is of age, legally, in the state of New York.
I’d recommend going to a frum counsellor immediately. Why? Simply because asking here in the Coffee Room shows that you don’t have the experience nor the tools in combating this problem professionally.
I am assuming that this individual lives at home. Why not make an enforceable rule that the computer(s) are placed in a public room, such as a kitchen, dining area, or living room, and forbid the use of computers in bedrooms and other private areas of the house or apartment.
Next, you should install a filter system on said computer(s) to prohibit visiting sites which are treif.
This doesn’t prevent everything that should be blocked being blocked, such as the “Dating Without Tachlis” group on Facebook, for example, so you might want to install a keystroke logger program and let it be known to the 20 year old all software will track him.
He could end up going to internet cafes, public libraries, or using wi-fi on a smart phone or iPod Touch. He should not ever have a smart phone, iPod Touch, or tablet, simply because you know what WILL happen.
He has to be made to understand how pernicious this problem can become in his life and that every man has to deal with it. Dealing with it in a mentschlich way will make him a happier person for himself. The choices he makes now in his life will affect his future greatly.October 24, 2013 1:20 am at 1:20 am #982088the-art-of-moiParticipant
Come to think of it, you’re right. I second that.October 24, 2013 2:27 pm at 2:27 pm #982089
Thanks to all who responded.
Each individual is different, and their environment is different, so there isn’t one size fits all answer. So even though some of your answers differ, it could apply to some people.
For those females who responded, sure, yes, it’s doable. I know there is a long standing disagreement in the CR with whether girls and boys differ in this area, but I believe very strongly that it does. So those girls who said sure, it’s doable, it may not apply to a boy.
For those who think I was talking about myself, let me just say, I am way over 20 years ago, and I’m female, so no, I was not in any way talking about myself (if you’ll notice in the OP I said a 20 year old boy)
I also do not have any control over this boy. My question was really, if this boy has a desire to change, is it doable? Or will he struggle for the rest of his life?
As for those who think it’s just a regular aveira, let me compare this to eating chazer. Eating chazer ruins the neshama, and everything is downhill. I believe so does the internet. Being mechalel Shabbos does not have the same affect.
So to say, one can be productive in life even if one does this aveira, I don’t believe he/she will have the same productivity. It greatly affects other areas in life.October 24, 2013 3:09 pm at 3:09 pm #982090
I would add also, that the desire to continue doing specific aveiros may not in any way compare to this aveira. There is something called internet addiction, I hightly doubt a person will be addicted to be mechalel Shabbos or eating trief. If they are inspired to change, likely they will. Not so with internet addiction. I believe there is no comparison. In my view, those who say it’s just like any other aveira, are either ignorant or rationalizing their own behavior.October 24, 2013 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm #982091
bemechilas kevodach you are incorrect. being mechalel shabbos definitely affects a persons neshoma albeit in a different way. Every aveira creates a stain on a persons neshama. People seem to go way overboard on the concept of metamtem haleiv – it is an issue but not an overriding one to the point where a person can not do teshuva from it. There is no such a thing called internet addiction. The addiction you are referring to (I am assuming) is of a different variety vhamayvin yavin. Yes it is doable but a person requires the motivation. The most important thing as I mentioned before is not to tell the person that he is a hopeless case and to make the person happy with small steps if that is what he can do. It is doable and many have successfully controlled it before. A mentor/rav is crucial in this situation.October 25, 2013 3:13 am at 3:13 am #982092SanityIsOverratedParticipant
Is there hope for him? Yes. Especially if he has a desire to change.
Do you, or should you have a role in helping him? Not sure. Depends on your relationship with him. (mother? aunt? sister?) Whatever it is, he would do best if he has a mentor, and of course a secure, or better yet no internet system at all.
jbaldy22- There most certainly is a thing called internet addiction.
Although, I agree that it’s probably not what she’s referring to.
(A shopping or gambling addiction for example, that ONLY happens online is sometimes referred to as an internet addiction. These people have no problems when visiting a regular casino/in a mall.)October 25, 2013 5:01 am at 5:01 am #982093WIYMember
The question is what is he so drawn to on the net? Is he playing computer games all day or online gambling? Or chas veshalom veshalom looking at filth? If he is looking at filth or playing poker you aren’t dealing with an internet addiction. Its crucial to know what he is doing online. I’m pretty sure he isn’t on Torahanytime and just can’t pull himself away.October 25, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm #982094
the topic of internet addiction has been discussed ad naseum in this forum and I am not particularly interested in rehashing that discussion. it is not an APA classified addiction and that is all I will say. you can google the rest of the debate on the subject. (I probably shouldn’t have thrown that bit in about internet addiction not being an addiction if I didn’t want to discuss it)
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