AIMVILLE, KY – “I think it’s cool now, they’re finally gone,” states 16-year old Aatiqah Rehman.
Cool, indeed. The teenage Rehman spends nearly fifteen hours a day talking online with friends and strangers alike. Her addiction started early with the popular AOL instant messenger, commonly thought to be a gateway for chat addiction.
From there, her interests slowly progressed to chatting on Yahoo Messenger, MSN and ICQ. “Sometimes, when my friends aren’t online, I go onto chatrooms and say salam to random people because it’s so much fun, lol.”
Fun most of the time, however Aatiqah learned the hard way that it’s a bad idea to give your phone number or other personal information to people you’ve never met in a real life, face-to-face encounter.
Rehman’s parents started suspecting something was wrong when strange phone calls would come to the house from grown men asking to speak with their daughter.
“I pick up phone and he say ‘Hi is AatiqahRahman786 there?’ and I say ‘Who is this?’ and he say ‘Bob’ and I say ‘What Bob want with my daughter?’ and Bob hang up,” stated her concerned father.
After confronting his daughter about the questionable phone calls, Aatiqah denied any wrongdoing.
“I just told them that I was working on a school project,” explained Aatiqah, “They wouldn’t know the difference between Microsoft Word and Alloy.com, lol.” While her parents are enthused that their daughter spends so much time studying, they don’t quite understand why she’s failing most of her classes.