Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Weapons of Mass Distraction

I kind of miss those days when I can just write whatever I was thinking or feeling. Now I always do it with caution, and that's not a bad thing I guess. I want to avoid saying something I would regret. But actually, alhamdulillaah, so far, I THINK I didn't find anything that I regret writing yet.

Now, most updates are on FB or Twitter or Instagram. I miss dwelling on thoughts. Actually I do dwell on them, but they are not 'fit for public consumption' or there is no space to write them. Posting on these sites feels more public - like making an announcement to the world. Posting on a blog seem more personal. It's more for me, and anyone who wants to read. I'm not imposing my posts on anyone online, they make a choice to come to this page or leave if they fear boredom.

I have a love-hate relationship with social network sites. 70% hate, 30% love. Let's start with the love first.

Love because :
1. I can keep in touch with distant family & friends. We know we are fine and alive through our FB posts. Share stories and pictures, see how they are getting along.

2. It's sometimes a place where I find good resources for reading or deepening my knowledge. No not from the posts itself, but from the links provided. We can share good advice.

3. Sometimes even entertained a bit by some clean funny posts, videos or pictures.

Hate because :

1. Sometimes I find myself wanting to check something for just 5 minutes, then end up an hour and a half, browsing updates and pages. They are truly, among the stronger *Weapons of Mass Distraction.

2. Other times I read updates that triggers a string of emotions and thoughts, frustrated at the world, wishing I can do something, but I guess we can only doa. But the thought lingers.

3. Reading some silly posts by others that does not make sense, or is infantile and then I'll be thinking about the state we are in and it again spurs a train of other thoughts.

4. Seeing pictures I don't want to see, which may cause me to have negative thoughts, thus subjected to sinning, so unnecessarily.

5. Seeing a sensational story and making a comment that I'd later regret. If there is nothing nice to say, keep quiet. Better still, stay away.

6. I believe this activity of reading short posts, & quick information, that we subject ourselves to everyday, can alter the way our brain works. Attention span is shortened, since we train ourselves everyday to go from one story to the next unrelated story and change emotion or thoughts with just a blink of an eye. "Eh kesian nya orang-orang ni.", next post "Eh kelakar lah kucing tu!" One second you're empathising with someone, next minute laughing at a cat video (of course, this happens with our news programs too - the change of stories, not the cat video).

7. The thing is, our brain it is like a sponge. It is absorbing all these things we are exposing our senses to, and storing it somewhere in the brain. And these things come out, at the most crucial times, such as during solat, and it is so unnecessary.

Ya Allah, enable us to be strict with our time, grant us greater discipline, strengthen our iman, keep us on the straight path.

*Weapons of Mass Distraction for me, includes the TV, internet, songs, movies, most entertainments and money. If you can't control them, they control you and will distract you from the remembrance of Allah SWT.

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