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TEEN ISSUES-----tv and internet a desperate plea

MODERATOR Posted - 23 January 2005 8:45

from "kdusha" (I removed your email address):

This article was written by a distressed 17-year-old to his parents.

Dear Mom & Dad,

For some time already, I have been debating whether I should inform you of the following issue. Please consider that it has been very difficult for me to write this, however I have gathered enough courage and thus decided to inform you of the truth.

In school and in Yeshiva, I have studied many great subjects, among them Torah, Mitzvot, holiness, purity, modesty, humility, respect for parents and elders, etc. However, when I return home, everything unwinds and unfurls into immorality, impurity, unbecoming behavior, arrogance, laziness, and sadness.

What is this pressing issue?

There is no doubt in my mind that my behavior is a direct result from the Internet and television. Granted, I spend endless hours, sometimes late into the night, absorbed by the environment created by these media.

However, I am letting you know that the Internet is not as clean as you think and many times, I am tempted to enter inappropriate web sites. In fact, when you are not in the house, I peruse through terrible site of which I am embarrassed to even discuss. I stare at disgusting and dirty images to such an extent that you would not believe me despite my admission.

You might feel, “Well, he learns in yeshiva,” and “wears öéöéú,” but I am telling you that I am untrustworthy and dependent on your support. In fact, I do not trust myself anymore because I am unable to overcome my urges. I need your help!

Television is no less dangerous and ridden with filth than the Internet. Granted, there are many wonderful things on television. But do you honestly think that whenever an inappropriate image or show appears on screen that I am capable of just closing my eyes or changing channels? Do you honestly think that whenever I hear inappropriate words or curses that I will instantly shut off the television?

Well, I know that I can not! I realize that I am just a human being, and I do not always succeed against my desires that are sometimes distasteful. It is due to the strength of these desires that I continue to tune in to the forbidden programs.

Because these things damage myself and ruin my ambition, so many times have I pledged to myself that I will no longer enter obscene web sites on the Internet and promised myself to avoid lewd television programs. Yet I am still suffering great anguish from my failure to censor my senses. When I return home, I am seduced time again as I stumble through my sins. Is it not enough that many of my imagination is filled with immorality, violence, profanity, and other revolting things? My dreams are already filled with lewd content; yet all of the above stems from the seeds sown by television and the Internet.

I admit that I am the only person who bears guilt for these offences. It is also certain that you only want the best for me. Had you known about my struggle, you would have taken care for it for some time already.

Perhaps this issue is unfamiliar to your generation, as these media did not exist in your time, as well as the ability to find any information possible via a few presses of a button. I am grateful for the excellent education that you have provided me. However, my evil inclination is dominating the better of me.

I covet my friends whose parents have already blocked access to their television and Internet access; they are so much purer. They are free of the unnecessary battles that I face on a daily basis with my senses. Perhaps they are simply more fortunate than me. I feel that I am withering in my values, as I slowly fall prey to my instinctual feelings. Almost every day I am losing more ground to my evil inclination. Believe me, my evil inclination has enough might without these media; it certainly does not need the aid of television and the Internet!

I realize that the Internet does contain much productive content that we use regularly. However, you can at least block the inappropriate web sites. I beg of you to contact our Internet service provider about how to block certain web sites or purchase software that is designed to block inappropriate web sites. At the very least, do not agree to erase the Internet history; doing so will prevent you from noticing the web sites that I have been visiting. Please, help me! It will make me happier.

As for television, I beg of you to limit my viewing of it. Perhaps, you can move it to your room, the parents' bedroom. Or perhaps, you can unsubscribe from our cable service. The day that I will turn the television on and notice that the cable service has been disconnected will be a day of great joy for me.

In addition, I may complain and ask for the television back, even to return our cable service as we had it before, or that I am bored. I may even be upset for some time. Yet, it is only my evil inclination that is seducing me to act this way. However, my inner true feeling states that I would prefer to be without the television and with a censored Internet connection. I am certain that you will notice how much this will help me regarding me as an individual, my relationship with my friends, and my relationship with you Mom and Dad, my dear parents.

I am not a delinquent child; on the contrary, I try to be the best that I can possibly me. Yet, what am I to do if I do not succeed against my desires; what would you like me to do? Therefore I have gathered the courage to compose this letter to you, because I honestly would like to improve. Please help me, my soul.

Mom and Dad, I love you so much, and you love me no less. I know that you love me. You worry for me. You acquire for me so many things. You are always ready to help when I need you. You share in my happiness and my sadness. You also worry for my health, assuring that I am eating right and that I will enjoy a long life. As for my soul - you provide me with a quality education. I have much to thank you for. I will always remain indebted to you. Please, help me this time as you have previously, and I will be so grateful to you.

Perhaps you notice that I am relating my feelings indirectly; I am a little shy and embarrassed about them. Yet, your attention to my feelings will make me happier and only help me. Please, before I deteriorate further, pity me, and hoist me out of the pit of filth into which I have descended. Help me!!!


Your son.

This letter was published in order to illustrate the problem that exists in our generation in both the secular and Jewish communities. However, the goal of this publication is not for parents to accuse their children, rather to inform parents of this widespread problem so that it can be rectified.

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