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DANGER OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE INTERNET ON ADOLESCENTS





By
Umm Sumayyah Mai

You may not agree-less with me the danger internet and social media pose to us as adults, let alone our children (from 12-20years of age). It is incumbent on every parent and guardians to be vigilant when it comes to their children and wards respectively.

I recall mentioning in a previous article on the danger the society and our present time has pose to our children. While we are happy we have a nice smartphone that will do almost all we want within a twinkle of an eye, as Muslims, we are also worried on it's dangers to ourselves, family and our children. When l say danger, l mean the aspect that kills us morally, and spiritually, the aspect that has caused destructions in many Muslim homes.

I wish to emphasize the danger of social media and the internet on adolescent. I recall having a conversation with a friend of mine sometime ago. Behold, we were both talking about the actual time an adolescent can be allowed to open any social media network or be given a cell phone. We both concluded that it is safer to give them a cell phone when they turn age 18 or when they have completed their High School.

At that specific time, it is my belief that they are fully matured to some extent. Before then, they must have been exposed and taught Islamic morals very well. They know the right from the wrong. They understand their purpose of existence in dunyah and they are well equipped with the Qur'an and Sunnah, the sources of their religion.

I do not think it is ideal enough to allow a child of less than 16 years of age to be on any of the social media platforms. I do think they have a lot more to know and learn before thay can be allowed to relate with people who their parents do not even know from Adam. A lot of cases and concerns have been raised in the previous years about boys and girls dating over the internet and the negative consequences it has really and truly placed upon them and the society at large. Some of those consequences include: loss of virginity, their pride and honor, molestation, raped and abortion. May Allaah protect our kids from the evils of social media and the internet as a whole.

It is important to note that these kids are innocent and novice, they can be easily deceived by the opposite sex out there, they can be initiated to evils over the Internet and the one who bears the pain are the parents, especially the mother.

Do we actually think, allowing them to socialize when they suppose to be reading and completing homeworks is the best? Do we think those kids of the same age as them who are not yet exposed to the social media/internet may have low self-esteem? Or do we actually mean, that is what is in vogue, our kids need to be civilized?

As Muslim parents, l think it will be a regret if we do not make a better choice for our kids now. They have a choice to make too, but, it is our responsibilities to guide them towards choosing the best. I am hoping that my kids are well-grounded deen-wise, that they are better than me when it comes to the deen of Allaah, the Quran, and Sunnah. I want them to be able to speak Arabic fluently and conduct researches with it, and teach it to others. This is my dream in life. This ought to be the dream of any reasonable Muslim parent.

Lately, a mother who gave a cell phone to her son did made a complaint to me (not a Muslim though). She had mentioned to me her son wouldn't sleep till almost like 2 am in the morning. That can even place a huge effect on their overall health if it continues like that, and even make them prone to serious medical challenges, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

A child who really needs to do any assignment on the internet can be given the chance to use the parent's cell-phone or home computer. Even, at that, it requires proper and diligent supervision. The truth is, if you raise them well, they wouldn't even want to see the haram. May Allaah protect us all.

I am hoping this piece opens our eyes as parents, and l pray it benefit us all. The danger of social media and the internet may not be fully explained in depth in this article. But, l hope we can consider some admonitions therein.

May Allaah ease the affairs of our homes and grant our children goodness in both worlds. Ya Rabbal 'Aalameen!


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