Mohammed Abdul Jawad

4 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Social Media during Ramadan

“I love reading. I read about 3 hours a day.
My favorite book is Facebook.”

It’s digital world everywhere and without social media, perhaps, Muslims lack luster in celebrating the very sanctity of Ramadan.

Perhaps, more than understanding the true significance of Ramadan and applying authentic teachings of Islam in human lives, our social media engagement is plainly increasing. We understand less, and share more. Simply, the fashion of the world is totally different wherein people want to get connected with family and friends.

More than our spiritual connection with our Almighty Lord, we live by multiple connections on the social media. Without this connectivity, our lives are nowhere with aloofness, imbalance and disruption. As if, by following diverse platforms, we feel our presence, comfort and engagement. Aha…as if social media has now become everyone’s companion!

More than the practicality of virtues in our lives, we intensely share content and tidbit news of our activities with our connections. And then, there are social media platforms that know how to take advantage of the momentum for respective occasions by adding new clusters, features or options.

Now-a-days, more than revering Ramadan in seclusion with spirituality and celebrating truly with gaiety among near and dear ones, social media users get glued to the screens of their Smartphones.

With engaging enthusiasm, they chirp on Twitter, show up activity on Facebook, share snaps and messages on Snapchat, watch videos on YouTube, and navigate, dig or glide wherever they wish to for information and tips by swiping their little screens.

Lo! Like a genie everything pops up and users get enthralled into their own typical, virtual worlds.

Perhaps, we can say that the usage of social media applications has its own merits, but excessive engagement becomes mere distraction from the very aspects and realities of our lives. Undoubtedly, with the increased Internet access and extensive use of mobile phones, social media, in a virtual world, has proven a force for convenience, helpfulness and modernity. The truth is that the whole world has mounted onto the social media bandwagon so fast in great numbers. Everyone seems to be social media savvy.

According to a research finding, as of January 2017, the statistics shows that social media users globally reached to 2.8 billion whereas mobile social media users globally reached to 2.5 billion.

Interestingly, according to news published on 6 February 2017, the headline read that ‘around 39% of Arab World’s population use social media, youth continue to dominate’. Facebook, the most popular social media platform in the region, has around 156 million users this year in the Arab World. Twitter registers over 11 million active users in the region, and Saudi Arabia has the most Twitter users, constituting 29 percent of the total number of users in the Arab world. The total number of LinkedIn users in the region reached 16.6 million as of January 2017, and the total number of active Instagram users in the region is 7.1 million, with the most users registered in the UAE.

But, it is too much indulgence on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram or WhatsApp anytime, anywhere that looks silly. Users become so absorbed on social media all the time to the extent that they don’t communicate to the one next to them or with their families or children in their houses. Rather they enjoy being engrossed online by messaging, sharing or tweeting.

Instead of getting closer to the Almighty Lord, we delve more into funny chats, vain debates, bogus content, trivial messaging, and unsafe propaganda on social media during the blessed month of Ramadan. That’s wacky! It’s totally bizarre when people spend too much time on Facebook and Twitter during Ramadan instead of spending their valuable time on worship, recitation and understanding of Qur’an or other righteous deeds. You shouldn’t believe anything that you may receive in the form of news, images, video or audio clips via Twitter, Facebook or WhatsApp without checking the credibility of source.

However, with the presence of diverse social media platforms offering Ramadan relevant content and features and avid interaction among users during the sacred month like Ramadan, it seems that Muslims’ lifestyles are changing dramatically.

Of course, there’s a possibility of users becoming afflicted with addiction, it seems that they cannot bear to be without it, and this is something apparent. While the essence and virtues of Ramadan is on one side, and on the contrary, Muslims are so fascinated by Twitter and Facebook that they portray Ramadan according to their whims and observances, and keep themselves engaged using Ramadan tie-in applications.

It seems that the virtual and high-tech worlds has transformed Ramadan, the month of self-control and perseverance into interactive event and Ramadan festivals, and the Muslims young and old have become addicted broadcasters and campaigners.

Let’s hope that social media, without pervasive distraction and deviations, brings in healthy, positive changes!

Image source: - (C) Randy Glasbergen

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