Dear friends, do you wake up with a zeal to achieve? Does a new day come as a promise for a fresh start to gear up your ambitious plans? Do you have a list of things you wish to accomplish in a day? I guess, you do. Do you always stick to your plan? By the end of the day, are you happy with what you have achieved? Sadly, I have to admit, by the end of the day I’m disappointed.
Well, our days start with fajr Salah (morning prayers) followed by usual routine of sending children to school, house hold chores and so on. In between, we get precious free time to pursue things which add a spark to life. These moments are valuable. That’s when I generally plan to do things I most love. I would love to write about what had been occupying my thoughts. Or, I try to listen to a lecture or explore about something which would interest me or my family. Most of the activities I wish to do involves my faithful laptop – a slave who obeys my command and takes me to sites with a press of a button key.
And then there is something else which interests me too. Before you start thinking of something awful, let me make it clear, I am speaking about NUMERICAL PUZZLES. Yep, complicated numerical puzzles which would result in wonderful loops and patterns once they are solved. As soon as I switch on the laptop, I feel the familiar urge to check the list of free Japanese puzzles. I spot an expert level puzzle and tell myself, “I could do it”. It almost smiles back as though challenging me! I have to solve it. I try it out. After several minutes/ hours of failed attempts, I succeed. Shouldn’t I be pleased that I won? Nah! I try to solve it faster! These puzzles might be improving my mathematical/logical skills. So, where am I using them? Can’t think of anything. Is such a knowledge necessary?
Working on a smart phone should be a better option. Alas, I have loaded several socializing apps like WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram in it. I just can’t keep away from them. I decide to stay alone for a while. Then, I hear a familiar ring. I have to attend it. It could be important message (from a princess in distress ; -P)! I pick it up and plunge again into the world of internet. I see what are others concerned with. I wonder, why am I doing this? Yet, I am there scrolling through the pages. To escape this, I jump back to laptop and face the old temptation. This cycle is no better than a whirlpool sucking productive hours of my life.
Dear reader, how long can you stay away from gadgets? Do you see smart phones as an extension of yourself? Like me are you tempted to hold and fiddle with it? Is your hobby browsing? Do you too start somewhere and end in some other world of internet? What kind of knowledge are we acquiring from countless hours of mindless browsing? Likewise, is there any benefit in merely hearing two different opinions on the same news subject, over and over again. I wonder, how people can allot several minutes/ hours every day for their favorite soap operas. Even if one watches a single episode weeks later, the plot can be guessed. These things which seem basically harmless, are robbing moments from our life. HAVE YOU TOO WILLINGLY BEFRIENDED SUCH A THIEF?
There are better days, when I dedicate myself completely to work. I am interrupted by a familiar cry. It’s from my child demanding attention. To complete my task, the child should be distracted. Guess, what do I hand him? Yes, my laptop. I play some age appropriate video in it. Few minutes later, I see him watching something else. He is not supposed to watch that! What should I do? Ah! Educational Interactive games, that should keep him absorbed.
My job is done. But, now the little one prefers computer over me! I patiently wait for him to complete his game. But when I ask back for the laptop, He refuses. He wants to play more! Next day should be better? No, he demands for the computer every now and then. On refusing, my sweet child throws a tantrum. Does this happen in every home? Are our children’s holidays spent on play station? Are we able to restrict their screen time? With such astounding games, will the children pay attention to books? Will they find pleasure from a normal stroll? Are we in a way turning our children into game addicts? How do you think will such a child spend his/her free time in the future? Are we training them to have a purposeful life?
Dear readers, what is the ultimate purpose of life? Why have we been created?
The world has always played a role from deluding us from the real purpose. The current era has a lot in store to keep us distracted. Now, we are literally wasting our life on games and entertainment.
I am not against technology. We should be against technology enslaving us. Do we stick to our schedule and use technology for our necessity? Or, are we spending our nights past bedtime entertaining ourselves? Do we end up waking up halfhearted to offer fajr salah? Do we rush our prayers without concentration so that we can go back to gaming? Aren’t we intoxicated by games? Just like an addict we can’t recollect what we uttered in salah. Auzbillah. Will such a prayer be accepted? What will happen of us in the hereafter?
It’s time to acknowledge our weakness and get over it. WE NEED TO STOP TECHNOLOGY FROM STEALING TIME. We can do so much more when we are in control of our life. How can we take control?
1. RECOGNIZE YOUR WEAKNESS:
What kind of games/ programmes are you interested in? Why do you like it? I love puzzles. They gives me a sense of achievement.
Put your trust in Allah. Request sincerely to Allah to help you overcome the addiction.
Other than computer/TV programmes, what else interests you? If you love news, read it from a newspaper. I love working on something challenging. Some intricate crafts work should help.
4. LEARN SOMETHING NEW:
We humans are born with an appetite to explore and learn. We feel more fulfilled on learning new things. We could learn a new language or craft. I decided to learn Crochet. (Do read my next post -It’s all about crochet.)
5. BELIEVE YOURSELF:
Maybe we were tempted back into browsing/gaming. Still, weren’t we able to keep ourselves away for a considerable amount of time? We can try again. Make a stronger resolution.
Involve your family and friends. Ask them to participate with you in this TECHNO CLEANSING program.
What do you plan to do between two salah (Prayers)? Stick to it.
Do something rewarding. I told my children, that I would crochet a jumper for them. Every time I was on computer, they would ask me to continue with their sweater! Seeing them wear what I made is rewarding.
You may also add a punishment. Well, if you go back to gaming, once the charge runs out, don’t charge the gadgets for next 10 hours!
8. REMEMBER: WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE TIME WE SPEND HERE.
There would be more attractive games and sites. The era we live in is as ordained by Allah. We cannot afford to blame time and lead a heedless life.
Insha Allah, with this we can prevent gadgets from stealing our time.
Dear readers, share with us your tips to prevent internet overtaking your life. Are there any other such thieves you have befriended? Let us know. Perhaps, we can discuss about them too.
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SubhanAllah your article hit on the spot. Since last night there was some restlessness. I wanted to be grateful but I kept focusing on what I am yet to have. It was at that moment that I realized it’s my constant check on social networks that leaves me feeling, ‘oh I want that, oh I want to go there, oh how much I wish to own this.’ Alhumdulilah I was able to delete Snapchat and the Facebook app to keep myself away from constant notifications. Since then I have felt quite good. I no more feel the urge to check any notification right away.
Reading your article has just inspired me to share my own story of how enslaved I was feeling to these social networks.
Jazakillah kahirun kaseerun
Restlessness and guilt at wasting time! I feel it too. May be I should delete few apps too. We need to get our priorityies right.
I’m glad to know that you’ll be writing on the subject. I would love read it. We need more awareness on this subject.
As Salam Alikum sister thanks this is well written and so true, what really bugs me is the preteens and teens are now addicted to phones they take them everywhere and are always on them it has made them lazy and self absorbed. When I was a teen we didn’t have cell phone and most people didn’t have computers for intertainment we either read books or did a craft .
My 4 year old is addicted to the cell phone he loves to watch YouTube videos all are educational it has taught him his colors letters and numbers in English,French and Arabic
Teens! In a gathering, I hardly seem to interact to one another. Each tteen stays aloof as though they are sucked into an smart phone.
Kids, we need to keep an eye on them. My seven 7 year old too started with educational vedio. Then he drifted to origami and experiment. This led to magic tricks. I had to draw a line there…
It’s very easy to drift away from subject while browsing.
Haya Newleaf recently posted…My Hijab
Very good article mashaAllah. I guess it’s all down to how you use these external things as well. To get closer to Allah swt or duniya? But even so, giving up screens is a good exercise…. even though I’m reading this on my laptop lol
An important reminder plus a must read❤
Yes you are so right that these things have trapped us & now it looks like there is no way out.
As you said that we have to plan & replace these things with some useful things!
All these points mentioned above are very important & should be kept in mind.
I love learning something new everyday….this gives me a sense of pride and achievement….thank you for the pointers….
SubhanAllah such a thought provoking post.
REMEMBER: WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE TIME WE SPEND HERE.
This line has struck out at me. Thank you for the reminder!
JazakaAllah khairen for this reminder. There are days where I’m aware of how much time I spend online; but some days, I notice to waste some precious time 🙁 You brought up some great points and I enjoyed reading your article.
*There are days when I’m aware of how much time I spend online.
The struggle is REAL. I as an extremely busy mum still find myself sucked into the smartphone and internet, I can imagine how difficult this problem is for a preteen or teen with no immediate pressing responsibility and at an inpressionable and frivolous age. The first step you mentioned is very important, we need to first recognize and accept it as the problem before we can do something about it. My two small tips which I just tried and helped are:
1) download an app (like moments for iPhone) to keep track of how much time spent on phone. Really an eye opener and motivates you.
2) Turn off the push notifications. I will check the Instagram and facebook and my mail when I have a minute to spare and not at every little ting ping beep I hear every other minute. Really helps Alhamdulillah. Some apps which you don’t use much (like snapchat for me) can just go altogether.
Jazak Allahul khair for the tips. These would surely be useful.
Haya Newleaf recently posted…My Hijab
Wow this was really a deep post. Got me thinking, nowadays everything is such a rush and time is flying by, I don’t want to look by and regret wasting time in silly things even if its just procrastinating. Shukran for sharing 🙂