Binah article about a teen with an ipod
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Post  Sun, Apr 01 2012, 7:02 pm
Binah received this article shortly after our 2 part series on the internet was printed and I took the time to follow up with the writer and verify many details. Our editorial decision was not to edit her too much because we felt it was her story and we didn't want to change it (MB-- the baptism one is true-- no boy replacement LOl)I understand that for some of you the story is preposterous and as amother said, I hope this remains your view forever. However, since the piece came out, I've been flooded with 'me too' with all sorts of horror stories. More encouraging have been letters written to this girl encouraging her to get help and not to give up. Many have offered her help in various ways and it's been an incredible experience for her.

I am aware there are women of various walks of life here but this is one girl's story and her pain is real because of where she comes from and how much it kills her to be living this double lifestyle that she couldn't see stopping. If you want to hear more stories like hers, listen to Rabbi Wallerstein long enough
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Post  Sun, Apr 01 2012, 7:43 pm
amother wrote:
Here's a true story about a teenage girl who spent enormous amounts of time on the internet. She was 'addicted' to several Harry Potter websites. She would write HP fanfiction during boring classes in school, participate in HP forums rather than study for tests on subjects that bored her, even chatted with fellow HP fans all over the world. Most of them were girls. A couple of them were boys.

She spent a good few years of her life on those sites, and she doesn't regret a single moment. Chatting with people her own age gave her something she didn't have in real life - friends who were as nuts about Harry Potter as she was.

She learned to make graphics and practiced her writing and research skills, through contests on those sites. She enjoyed chatting with the boy from Portugal, who admitted that he was gay but having trouble coming out to his parents. He used to argue that Americans were spoiled and fat. She argued that he sounded jealous. He admitted she was right and he wanted to move to America. She wished him good luck.

She knew another guy whom she didn't chat with that often, but one memorable night she stayed up all night chatting with him. He had been abused as a child, had temper issues. He had broken up with his girlfriend, whom he had gotten pregnant. He told the girl about all the abuse he had gone through, and how he felt like killing himself. She chatted with him for 10 hours, mostly just listening, and telling him there were people in the world who would miss him if he was gone. She didn't really mean she would miss him. She barely knew him, and felt little respect for a guy who would leave his pregnant girlfriend, no matter what he'd gone through as a child. But she felt responsible to listen, if that was what he needed.

She had friends who were girls, too. From England, the US, Poland. She was closer to them than to the boys, sharing photos and telling them about momentous events in her life. One in particular, the Polish girl, found the girl's accounts of Jewish life fascinating. Another girl was actually Jewish, Conservative. She too enjoyed hearing about Orthodox Jewish life.

So. What happened to all this? The last Harry Potter book came out. It was no longer so much fun to speculate. The girl got older, and busier. A couple of years after the last HP book came out, the girl lost all interest in the sites. She still communicated with the Polish girl, but spent more time texting and talking to her chosson.

Then she got married, got even busier, found other sites (like imamother) that she was more interested in.

She never used the internet on Shabbos. She would like to, in the same way she would like to do many things that are assur. But she won't. Because she believes in G-d and doesn't want to break His commandments.

So. She is still Jewish. Happily married with no boyfriend on the side, despite having *gasp* CHATTED with boys online.

Through it all, she has always loved to read.

She is probably addicted to books.

minus the details describing the people being chatted with, this was my life from seminary (when my father first allowed me to get dial-up internet) until I got married. Glad to see I wasn't the only one!
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