Yep, a true story. So sad. Since what happened in Chattanooga, my hijab and I haven’t felt very welcome here where I live. God be with us…. #MuslimLivesMatter
By Safiya N.Y.
Today while sitting leisurely in the comforts of my home, I feel proud that my home got a few women always clad in a loose hijab. It is not an artificiality that accompanies them everywhere, but a personal artefact that clings to their hair as wind does with it or rain drenches it. After years of interaction with the outside world, I have many experiences to share with a world that genuinely wants to know how a little girl gets intimidated when she begins to wear a hijab. I have always understood from the beginnings of my girlhood that the secular world around expects me to be less medieval, less patriarchal, less conservative, less outdated, less freaking, less scary, less arrogant, everything less than what I am. It took me a while to realise that the world simply wants me to be ‘less Islamic’, whatsoever it may…
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Hey there! Long time no see! I know, I know, I haven’t blogged in forever. I haven’t had the time or energy to do so. But today I am feeling a bit better and I have done all my housework, so here we go!
I guess it goes without saying that we all love our smartphones, right? I certainly love mine. I check it frequently and I use it for most of my communication with anyone who doesn’t live in my house. I have wondered though if perhaps I am overusing it.
You know, recently I have been examining a few interesting ideas about spirituality. I stumbled upon the idea of infusing the physical, mundane things in life with the supernatural and spiritual. By doing so you do not taint the spiritual, but rather you elevate the physical with a higher purpose. As I pondered this concept, I decided that it was a good one to adapt to my own life. I feel like it fits beautifully with my own sense of spirituality. In applying this to my life, I want everything I do to further my goal of elevating all I am and do with a higher purpose. So, getting back to technology – how exactly does my smartphone use fit into this?
I can think of several instances in which the internet and technology can be elevated. I can use it to post truthful things and uplifting things. It can be used to communicate with, and show love to, the people in my life. It can be used to educate myself. But there does come a point at which the internet stops being useful and instead starts to drag me down. If I am online to see memes and play games, if the internet becomes an obsession rather than a carefully controlled substance – then it is spiritually dangerous and possibly even dangerous to the relationships I treasure. You see, uses for the internet have to be contextualized in my whole existence. If the internet is using my time that I should be using to be with my husband, or care for my home, or study the Bible and pray, or educate myself in a more holistic way than the internet could ever allow me to, then I need to stop. It is no longer being used but rather it is using me. That is not acceptable. At that point I am no longer elevating the internet and using it for an important purpose, but rather it is preventing me from infusing my life with purpose and God’s light.
Once I decided to infuse my life with a higher purpose, and then came to my realization about the internet and technology, I realized that while I often use the internet correctly, there are also times when I overuse and cross that line between it being purposeful and it not being purposeful. So I talked with a few friends, I did some research, and discovered a great solution! It is an app called The Big Red Stop. It works as a technology detox program. I simply downloaded it and it has a “stop” button to press when I am ready to “go off-grid”. By doing so it turns off the notifications for texts, Facebook, Twitter, and phone calls. I can configure if I only want to turn off certain notifications, all notifications for those apps, or totally silence my phone. I can configure for how long I want to stay off-grid, and I can set up an auto reply to incoming texts and/or calls. I am loving this app! It is absolutely fabulous. Easy to use, straightforward, and nicely put together. It is also FREE!
To keep myself on track and focused on only using technology in an elevated and purposeful way, I do a twenty-four hour technology detox every week. From sundown on Saturday until twenty-four hours later at sunset on Sunday, I refrain from all internet and phone use. I do not make non-emergency phone calls, I do not reply to non-urgent texts, and I most definitely do not use any social media during those twenty-four hours. It has been refreshing for me spiritually, refreshing in terms of my relationships, and reminds to keep everything in line with my own higher purpose. We each have a special purpose in this world, and it would be a terrible shame to allow Facebook and such to hold us back from fulfilling it!
Here are the links to the android and apple versions of The Big Red Stop.
Android version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bigredstop&referrer=ts%3Df06c04a7-19e2-4957-96c6-851d72f583b1
IOS version: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/big-red-stop-digital-detox/id946411352?mt=8new
In closing, I want to share with you my new wallpaper on my phone. Every time I open my phone I am reminded to hurry up, do what I need to do, and then unplug.