Recently I have been contemplating about the way social media has impacted how I spend my Ramadan. Not only that, how it has affected the mindsets of many including me even just before the month starts.
Just as the new year starts, I start getting reminders in my feed here and there about the coming of the blessed month with ideas about how to spiritually and even physically prepare ourselves. In the past I have greatly benefitted from the all the knowledge shared and was able to better prepare myself which’s something I wasn’t able to do so before the advent of social media.
However as we near the blessed month there is also a huge outpour of ideas to decorate the houses, food to make, resources to use, activities to do. And there are multitude of products being promoted to go with the above.
While we can definitely not deny the positive part social media has played in preparing us for the blessed month, there are many negative effects of it too.
It is no secret that in recent years consumerism has become a huge part of how we spend Ramadan and social media has played a big role in this.
Our fast paced, plugged in culture can leave us frazzled and out of sync with our inner selves…..
….which is opposite of what we ought of achieve in Ramadan.
As we through our feeds are so full of all these wonderful food being served, all the activities being completed, deeds being done, books being read, it’s becomes very easy to believe that we aren’t doing enough in terms of just those things. They may make us feel inadequate and also as if we aren’t measuring up.
I find this very frightening how we have let social media control our minds like that.
Having said that, lets not forget that many times social media isn’t real life.
Even though all that you see sounds and looks lovely and inspirational, it’s important we remember that those images are curated. They are a very zoomed into image of someone’s life and represent a very tiny moment in life.
Social media is a highlight reel.
Social media can have you feeling guilty over a reality that doesn’t really exist.
Yes social media can be very delusional, distractive as well as deceptive.
So how do we navigate social media especially in Ramadan?
Here are a few things I have been working on to reduce my time online generally and especially in Ramadan. I hope you benefit too.
- The right mindset: Remember the true essence of Ramadan. Ramadan is a time to fill our spiritual cup, mentally reboot and gain closeness to our Creator.
- Unplug: Deactivate social media appson your phone. If not then atleast turn off the notifications.
- Acknowledge your distractions: Delete anything extra from your phone. Unfollow anything that doesn’t bring you any value or make you feel any less about yourself.
- Become intentional: With your time and the content that you consume. Always begin with the right intention and say “bismillah”.
I have created a banner to fit on my gadgets and it glares at me and is a reminder to be intentional with my usage. You can download it too here.
We need to be very careful about what we consume online. Our mental focus plays a direct role in our spiritual health.
The information load and cognitive toll social media creates is underestimated.
Hence a gentle reminder….
Please lets not feel like we have to do everything we see out there. If wish to and if you think you can without it overbearing for you, then good. But don’t burn yourself out because you feel you should be doing it.
We need to remember that Ramadan is a month we may never reach to see again. Lets make the most of it to cleanse our souls, minds and bodies.
We need to ask ourselves….
What kind of a person I want to come out of this Ramadan? What do I want to take away from this Ramadan?
The Prophet advised Abu Dharr رضي الله عنه
Oh Abu Dharr! There are two blessings seriously taken for granted (misused) by mankind, health and spare time.Abu Dawood
As we are all set to welcome Ramadan and we are bombarded with all these images on social media, remember what you see there isn’t one size fit all. What works for others might not work for you.
Lets focus on small but consistent deeds.
May Allah allow us to reach the month of Ramadan and may we reap the benefits of this month to the fullest. Ameen
Download your reminder wallpaper here.
If you need help being consistent with small things you can do everyday, you can download “My day of being awesome planner” here.
This post was written in collaboration with Nurturing Learners
In next post I will be talking about how I feel about Ramadan decor. Watch the space or subscribe to recieve updates.