Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lost In Cyberspace

An excerpt from today's Sunday Times' Editorial read as follows:

"It is reasonable to surmise that many parents of teenage children who are deep into cyberspace gaming haven't a clue what the social pathology is about. Is it another of those 'computer things' that young people grow up on? Can it become so obsessive an activity it turns well-adjusted kids into one-person universes to which parents are barred?..."

That last question threw me back into my own history. I was introduced into cyber-conversation world ("chatting" as we then knew it) back during my years in university. It started off innocently as an instrument to 'make new friends'. At first, it was done only during my breaks - but by a few months down the road, it took the whole of me! There were many days when I walked to campus only to stay in the computer lab (in those days, laptops were not a student's staple) the whole day - missing all my lectures and tutorials - right from 8am till the library closed. I had my fair-share of meeting various people in campus: some as how they described themselves to be, whilst most are just the direct opposite, even right down to their gender.

This went on for a while until one day, while looking around that same familiar computer lab, "wisdom" struck me: everyone in the room was "chatting" with someone else in cyberspace from people within campus. For all we know, we could be chatting to the person sitting right beside us, but we did it through the computer. We have indeed, created our own "one-man universes" within the confines of our own computer. But, a rush of thought came to my mind: why do it through the computer when there were so many people out there that you can speak to direct; see and touch in a normal way?

In a way, I felt the situation pathetic - and myself, of couse. That sudden realisation made me realised how "addicted" I was to be "lost in cyberspace". It was tough to resist, but I finally withdrew from that habit - only to do so occassionally until that fad fades away - or perhaps I grew out of it.

On hindsight, it was not as pathetic as I saw it, then. We cannot totally escape from cyberworld in this generation. At times, I see that habit of "chatting" transferred to other things like ... this blogging, for example :)

But the important thing for me now is: I am better able to manage between allowing that cyberworld grab the whole of me and using it to keep in touch with the world and using it to benefit me, and maybe others along the way, to a certain degree, insya-Allah. There is so much out there at the press of the keyboard, but we need to sieve through some of the information to make good sense of them. That is important. Too much unconstructed information will churn out rubbish in our minds.

Finally, that "one-man universes" that we inadvertendly tend to build is certainly not healthy to our mind, body and soul. And this applies to all things in life. This is consistent with the beautiful teachings of Islam - to do things in moderation, to have a good balance - both in the secular and the theological context.

This concept is borne from the following verse and hadith. Although the context may be different, but the principle and application of them are the same:

"Thus, have We made of you a community justly balanced, that you might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves..." (al-Baqarah 2:143)

"A'isha, the wife of Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him), reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) used to say: Observe moderation (in doing deeds), and if you fail to observe it perfectly, try to do as much as you can do (to live up to this ideal of moderation) and be happy for none would be able to get into Paradise because of his deeds alone. They (the Companions of the Holy Prophet) said: Allah's Messenger, not even thou? Thereupon he said: Not even I, but that Allah wraps me in His Mercy, and bear this in mind, that the deed loved most by Allah is one which is done constantly even though it is insignificant." (Muslim)



Fauzy said...

i guess i've had a similar exp.. except that 'university campus' is replaced with 'secondary school' or 'jc'.. lol

Fauzy said...

On that note, could you add me on msn?(if u still use such a program) lol ----

thanks :)

kakatua said...

Thank you for the very beautiful hadith. I totally agree about "the ideal of moderation", and how it is so not easy to practise in one's life. And, consistency really IS the keyword. We can only try our best. :)

Setan Patah Tanduk said...

let's avoid excessive downloadings, you tubing, blogging, msn 'ing, irc/alamak chatting, e baying, sensational pics viewing and many many more evil things.

Yashila said...

Quite coincidental, that Ustad Feisal (from the Martin Lings class) spoke about moderation too last tue. It's nice to view the same message from 2 different angles :)