In today’s age of social media, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong. Lots of young Muslims today have the mentality that if their parents can’t see what they’re doing on social media, then everything is good. But I’m here to tell that that’s wrong! Just because your parents don’t know what you’re posting, tweeting, blogging, hashtagging, etc. doesn’t mean that Allah doesn’t know. So check out the tips in The Muslim Girl’s Guide to Social Media to see what some of the dangers can be.
This might be very obvious and some of you might even me chuckling at this, but it is so important. Many people use the internet as a way to lash out at people on various platforms, whether it’s Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., especially because they don’t use their real name in their activities online. Using a fake name does not give you the right to bully people or call them names or abuse them in any shape or form. It’s an old saying, but it still applies today: if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Online bullying is so prevalent today because people think that they can say whatever they want online because people can’t see who they are. Whether it’s to someone you know or someone you’ve never met, be nice.
Quit being the Haram Police
I talk a lot more about this in my 10 Ways to Stop Being Haram post, but it bears repeating in this one too. It goes hand in hand with the ‘be nice’ tip above, but being Muslim does not give you to the right to go out and call people out. You don’t have the right to judge, only Allah does. So if you’re concerned about a friend or family member, shoot them a private message or talk to them in person. Don’t shame them on their wall or in front of their followers. If you can’t share your opinions in a mature and sensible way, then keep them to yourself.
Keep Your Distance
Many young Muslims today keep their distance with the opposite sex in person, but it’s a completely different story online! Again: just because your parents don’t see those private messages or those tweets you send, doesn’t mean Allah doesn’t. Be aware that Allah is watching all that you see and do online, in what you might think is a very private forum, so be careful to maintain your distance and be respectable. Use social media to communicate, but still be mindful of your limits so you don’t cross them. It can be so easy to get caught up in a fun conversation that seems all fun and jokes via Twitter or Instagram, but you could be flirting without knowing it.
Know When to Back Out
Online, everyone’s got an opinion and it’s so much easier to express it when you have a different name or picture up so no one knows it’s you. And everyone on the internet loves to give their opinion, whether it’s about Islam, current events in the media, politics, faith, etc. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to defend something online, but discussions online can quickly turn into ugly arguments so know when it’s time to back out. Backing out does not mean that you are conceding to the validity of the other person’s argument, but sometimes it’s best to take a step back rather than start swearing and becoming aggressive.
Take a Break
This can be the hardest thing to do, especially since with we’re all so connected to social media via our computers, smartphones, and tablets. But try to take a break from it! It can be easy to become consumed by social media and spend your whole day on Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest, but it’s important to remember that social media is not a replacement for life. It’s just an outlet.
So don’t let it replace your life and don’t live your life simply on social media. Put the phone down and put the computer away and take some time to enjoy the company of people around you and the world around you. It can very difficult not to eat a meal with a group of friends and not want to instagram it or see a beautiful scene of nature and not want to tweet about it, but try. Our life on this planet is measured in finite moments so don’t waste those moments on social media.
With all that being said, the intention of this post is not to say that social media is the root of all evil. Alhamdulilah, social media has done some amazing things and has raised awareness on some profound issues. It’s a way that we can stay connected with family and friends from all over the world. It’s a way we can continue to invent and reinvent ideas. But there are some problems with it, which is why I hope this guide on social media gives you some easy tips to use in your life.
Hope you found this post useful! Keep smiling.