Wednesday, 11 January 2012

A Professional’s Response To Internet Addict

Klal Yisroel Is Now Beginning To Deal With The Issue

by Lakewood Scoop (See all authors)

The following is a letter received from the Administrator of the (unfortunately) popular site Guard Your Eyes, which was endorsed and praised by Gedolim. – Shalom U’vracha. I’m the admin of Guard Your Eyes Dot Org, and I’m writing in response to the letter in “Reader’s Scoop” called “I Was a Serious Internet Addict”. There are those who commented on this article denying that this is a serious problem in our communities. There were even those who went as far as to question the authenticity of the letter! I’d like to tell your readers that I get multiple letters like this every single day! One only need take a peek at our forum to see hundreds of Yidden who are posting about their struggles all the time. And we have over 1,800 members on our daily chizuk e-mails called “Breaking Free” – and that’s without almost any advertising on our part, just by word of mouth and through articles in Jewish news outlets such as the Mishpacha piece that came out two weeks ago by Yonasan Rosenblum.

Let’s face it. This is a subject that no one likes to talk about. And those who suffer from this problem don’t let anyone know about it either. For years this issue has been swept under the rug by our communities, and for the first time Klal Yisrael is finally waking up and beginning to deal with it. It has reached epidemic proportions. The statistics that we are aware of on guardyoureyes show that it is basically a given that anyone who has open internet access in their home (or on their phone) will stumble at some point. There is no doubt that at least 1 in 4 frum people you know who have access to open internet are already being nichshol and are in danger of developing an addiction which can easily spiral out of control.

It’s important to emphasize that this is not an issue of Yiras Shamayim. As Reb Yochanan Ben Zakai blessed his students (who were all great tzadikim in their own right) “Halevai your Yiras Shamyim should be like Yiras basar v’Dam”. We may all have a decent level of yiras shamayim, but having open internet is like Yichud, and even the greatest Tana’im who were tested in this area were unable to overcome it without special divine assistance (see the 3 stories in Kiddushin daf 81a). Also, these behaviors quickly develop into an “addiction”, which is a type of disease. That is why the standard “Teshuvah” model often doesn’t work for those who struggle with this, and they need special tools like group support and accountability to break free.

In the area of prevention, Guard Your Eyes can help you install good filters in your computers and handheld devices. Our “Filter Gabai” can hold the password for you so you won’t be tempted to turn off the filter. And if you need changes done to the filter, he can do it remotely using remote accessing software without ever having to share the password with you. Yes, it is possible to be free! Contact our filter gabai today at filter.gye@gmail.com.

We also offer a special service to help people delete the browser on their Blackberry. That’s right, it is possible to have all the conveniences of the Blackberry and still not have any internet access. Send an e-mail to:deletebrowser@gmail.com and you will get back a free program that eliminates the internet browser from your Blackberry. E-mails and all other applications will continue to function normally. (The browser can be put back one day if necessary, upon request).

Sign up to our daily chizuk e-mails on Shmiras Ainayim, and if you know anyone who may have stumbled and needs help, GYE provides an entire anonymous network of help including “Breaking Free” Chizuk e-mails, Forums where hundreds of Yidden exchange chizuk, Support Phone Conferences throughout the day (see Guard Your Eyes Dot Org > Tools > Phone Conferences), the 90-Day Challenge, and much more! Download the “GYE Program in a Nutshell” to help gauge the level of your struggle/addiction and find the right recommendations and tools to help you overcome this challenge.