2 Madinah   Al Rawdah  1

Has the Smartphone Made Your Smarter?

Has the Smartphone Made Your   Smarter?
We live in an era where digital communication   has pervaded every sphere of our existence. We first had the personal   computer that changed our life as we knew it. Then came along the cell phones   that transformed the way we communicated with each other. And finally the   smart phones that enabled us to do most of the things that the PC and the   cell phone did by just using one single device. Smart phones not only act as   telephones but also as a mobile internet, a games console and provide a host   of applications that have virtually brought the world to our handset. Has the   smart phone made us smarter? Do we control the smart phone or does the smart   phone control us?

Social Impact: People   are hooked to their technological devices while at work, while walking,   driving, running, eating, and even whilst relaxing. People very often are   physically present with others in a gathering yet socially absent because   they are ‘connected’ elsewhere. This ability to be elsewhere at any point in   time allows people to simply sidestep what is difficult and hard in a   personal relationship and escape to a ‘place of safety.’ People addicted to   their phones tend to be anti- social as they give precedence to people who   not present over people we are with them. How many people do you see, head   down plugged to some sort of mobile device? How often do you see people   completely detached from their immediate environment, searching, tweeting,   scrolling and typing away feverishly totally out of tune from everything else   around them?

Twitter   Revolution: Information supplied by social networking   websites has played an important role during modern-day activism,   specifically in the Arab Spring. Social networking played a crucial role, as   a key tool in highlighting oppression and driving people to agitate against   tyrannical and unjust regimes. It helped create an alternate network that   united people, gave vital information to them and led to the overthrow of   decade old regimes.

Educational   Impact: Schools are starting to capitalize on the technology   students love to use, including smartphones, tablets, and other personal   devices. The acquisition of knowledge is fast moving away from person to   person transmission to transmission via the digital world. This has led to   access to instant information…information that may be credible or unreliable.   It has decreased the influence of teachers and scholars and diminished the   use of libraries. It has also negatively impacted on our ability to spell   correctly and think effectively, because we are becoming too reliant on   artificial intelligence. We are giving up more and more opportunities to use   our own brains and intelligence to carry us through the day.

Muslim   Consumption: A survey by Ipsos, a market-research firm, found   that rich Muslim-majority countries boast some of world’s highest rates of   smartphone penetration, with the United Arab Emirates ahead at 61%. But even   in poorer Muslim lands adoption is respectable: 26% in Egypt, not much below   Germany’s 29%. More than a third of people in the Middle East now use the   internet, slightly above the world average. Muslims use their gadgets in much   the same way as everyone else: they text, they use social networks, they buy   online. Many smartphone apps cater to religious needs. Some show salaah   times, location of masaajid, provide text and audio versions of the Quran and   Hadith.

Islam not   averse to Technology: Technology should be for doing good   things in better ways. Muslim history abounds with examples of scientific and   cultural ingenuity. Muslim scholarship made a vital contribution to the enrichment   and advancement of human civilization. While Europe was still in the dark   ages, religious Muslims were making great advances in the fields of medicine,   mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, architecture, literature, and   history documentation to mention but a few. Sophisticated instruments, as   well as good navigational maps, were first developed by Muslims.

Digital   Manners:

• Give priority to   those who are with you:
Listen intently when you are with friends, family members and co   -workers. When you constantly check messages, you send the message that other   people and things are more important to you

• Digital rudeness:
Smart phones should not absolve us of good manners. Manners are not out of   fashion as yet

• Treadmill:
A smart phone is not a license to spread rumour or to slander. Whoever   gossips to you will gossip about you

• Vanity machine:
Nor is it a device meant to mirror our ego via vain personal profiles.   The only nice thing about our ego is that it does not allow us to talk about   other people.

“Do not be like   those who forgot Allah, so Allah made them forget themselves.” (59:19)

How do you   forget yourself?
You forget yourself by being unable to stay away from that which is   harmful nor are you able to embrace that which is beneficial. We forget   ourselves when we feed our desires and not our souls…when you are pre   occupied with our physical selves instead of our spirit. When we find hours   of joy in ‘play’ and not in ‘pray’…when we feel a greater sense of fulfilment   connected to our gadget compared to being connected with our Creator.

Allah is undoubtedly the best companion for us.

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