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For a while now, I've been reading lots of articles from people fed up with social networking, Facebook being the main culprit. I say for a while because I end up reading these perspectives to give myself a little encouragement each of the several times I've tried to get rid of Facebook. It's like a bad relationship in its death throes; there's always some unhealthy reason to go back. For me, it was I still had website pages and apps on Facebook that wouldn't exist anymore without my account being active - the horror!
Without being able to deactivate or delete my account, it was just too easy to keep checking the feed. Finally, I set up an empty account and transferred the pages and apps to that lonely non-person. I took the plunge and deleted Facebook just a few days ago. But there's a catch. You must wait 2 weeks after requesting to have your account deleted before it will actually get deleted. Any time you log in between now and then will cancel your deletion and make you an active user again.
I feel kind of lame leaving my website Facebook pages open. If I find the site a waste of time, why bother inflicting it on others? I'm not sure, I guess part of me thinks anything creative will suffer if I don't have a presence online. Really, I think the opposite it true. Social media seems to suck the soul out of your creativity.
I won't recreate all the complaints about social media. The blog Facebook Detox and this post, Why I Deleted My Social Media Accounts are more articulate and well-thought out arguments that I could ever muster. I can say I felt free when I deleted my Facebook account. I was annoying on there. Everyone is annoying on there if they post daily. It all becomes pretty redundant. How many times have you seen a post about 5 Things You Need to Stop Posting on Facebook. I've seen this type of post so many times and each time it's just a little bit different so that if you take all the advice you can come to the conclusion that no one cares about anything anyone else has to say online, ever.
For an Islamic perspective there were 2 things starting to trouble me: wasting time and giving an audience to anyone with an opinion about the deen. We have "scholars" performing comedy routines now for likes. And you try to share something from a qualified scholar refuting the dilution of ilm, let the unfriending and flaming begin. What a waste of time!
Of course, don't take my word for it. Listen to what a scholar of the past has left us with, way before this world of social media was ever a thought:
Imaam Ibn Qayyim (rahimahu-Allaah) said:
“Regret for wasted time should be deep, for time passes quickly and it is difficult to make up what you have missed. Time for the worshiper is a time for worship and reciting awraad (adhkar), and for the devoted Muslim it is time for turning to Allaah عز و جل and focusing on Him سبحانه وتعالى with all his heart.
Time is the dearest thing to him and he would feel very sad if time passes without him doing what he is meant to do. If he misses time, he can never make it up, because a second time has its own duties. So if he misses time, there is no way he can bring it back.”
(Madaarij al-Saalikin, 3/49)
How many years have you been on Facebook? Has it been quality time?