Saturday, May 22, 2010

Facebook: Social Networking or Social Engineering?

This is an amazing read because I have come to realise that spending time on FB doesn't let me at least feel very productive. Hours can fly by like anything and all I've done so far is kept up with my friends' status messages and photos (especially photos) :(. The good news is that I have noticed the change in time management since FB was blocked :). So IA I plan to improve here. Happy reading!

The big question is, ‘What is social networking and how is it useful?’
Of course you will hear the usual bleating saying, ‘It is so nice to know what my sister is doing….blah, blah.’
So ask this person, ‘Why can’t you send your sister an email asking what she is doing and she can respond to you. Or even better, if you can, call your sister and talk to her.’ But no, I must talk to my sister in a space where it is not only the sister who is listening but almost anyone who cares to listen, even if that person is a total stranger. So is it about your concern for your sister or is it something else?
So also in this space are pictures which really have no place outside the home – like the pictures showing you hugging your sister or wife or whoever! And so on and so on. I don’t think I need to describe all that there is to people who put it there in the first place.
Yes, of course there are controls. Tell me all about them. Tell me also how come almost nobody uses them. How many Facebook profiles do you know who have the maximum control activated where only their immediate family can see them? And of course in the end, all control is only as good as the techies and geeks on the Facebook site allow. After all they can access all that information anyway.
So what is really being achieved by Facebook, Twitter and so on? (Twitter?? Whoever coined that term was clever. Talk about under the belt. Who twitters? A twit!! – but then I suppose a twit doesn’t know that he is a twit, right?)
So what is achieved?
What is achieved is what would be the equivalent of peeping in through your window. Wanting to know what you are doing all the time. I want to know what you are doing all the time and I want you to know what I am doing all the time.
Intrusion into privacy when it is done against your will is unpleasant. So what is better? Get you into a state of mind where you will volunteer to tell people all about your internal organs on your own. See the change? An intruder is an intruder only when he intrudes against your will. If you invite him in, then he is a guest, not an intruder. Same person, same you but different rules. And that’s what it is all about, the rules of engagement.
So is it ‘social networking’ or is it ‘social engineering?’
The purpose is to change the rules of the society. Break barriers. Destroy the boundaries that protect us.
And where does this lead to? Addiction and intoxication. Addiction to seeing what others are doing and telling others what you are doing on a daily, hourly, minute by minute basis. And being intoxicated with the false feeling that you are so interesting that people are really interested in what you are doing. Not realizing or willing to believe that these are the actions of other intoxicated people.
You don’t like the word ‘intoxication’? Just don’t log onto your Facebook or Twitter account for two days and monitor your heartbeat, blood pressure, tremor in your mouse, whatever and you will see what I mean.
And all this for what? What is achieved with the time that you spend reading about other’s adenoids and telling them about yours? Incidentally I know what adenoids means and that you don’t talk about them. But let us not mention what facebookers really talk about!
So what did you achieve? Just ask yourself this question, ‘What did I achieve by being on Facebook and Twitter (or whichever of these infernal social networks you are on) over the past month, year or whatever period.’ Remember this is a serious question because you Muslim/ah are spending your time (life) doing it. And that makes it among the first questions that you will have to answer to Allah. So what did you achieve? Prepare the answer. You will need it.
Social networking is social engineering. Its purpose is to change the values and ethics of people. This is done, in its most benign form, to encourage you to indulge more and more in the consumerist society that is all consuming. We think we are the consumers. But we are in reality the consumed. Just think, how many of you buy things, see shows, go to restaurants (and other places), like or dislike things because of campaigns on Facebook and Twitter? See what is happening? Your minds are invaded, your thoughts are influenced, and consequently your actions are manipulated and you may not even realize it.
 Today Muslims the world over are very angry with the latest offensive of the Facebook. But an impulsive reaction will hardly do us any good. Just staying off of the offensive site for one day, as many have advocated, will only highlight our capitulation to it.
It is time we rethink what are we doing with our lives and say no to social engineering. It is time to get off of Facebook, Twitter, and other similar sites that are destroying us from within.

Image source


Adnan Siddiqi said...


I asked on Adil's site that if Freedom is so important than why Pakistani govt have banned anti-Shi site "Haq Chaar Yaar"( and guess what? my comment was removed and I just created again :-)

The site has been blocked by PTA for long time since it exposes the Shiaism. I never found any such "polite commentary" by using Muhammad(saw). Obviously, biasness is here.I bet No shia would ever want others to visit Haq Char Yaar since it would be hurting their belief. Tu konsi Qayamat Agai if facebook got banned?

I am afraid some day Alqaeda ppl would be asking to lift ban from their sites in the name of freedom.

And my former Immediate Boss sent me this:

Suppose, One day, one of your good friend announced that he is arranging a party for three days, in which he'll make jokes and display cartoons of your father. What will be your response? Will you join the party? Will you Break Friendship just for three days of party OR Break Friendship forever.

Off course if you love your father you will definitely not continue friendship with him and we love Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) more than our parents. There is a saying of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) that "No one of you can become a perfect Muslim "Momin", until he loves me more than his parents".

Is it justifiable to block f@ce book and other sites involved in such blasphemous content publishing, just for ten days OR just to deactivate account for one day? How important these sites are in our life? And what we will miss if we DEACTIVATE the account? But if we did not DEACTIVATE the account one thing we surely miss is "SELF RESPECT".

Uni said...

True, this example your former boss gave. Indeed the Prophet (saw) is more dearer to us (or should be) than our parents and anybody. And if we cannot bear any insult to our loved ones, then how can we stand and turn away when somebody makes fun of the Prophet (Saw). It's so darn logical, what's so hard to understand.

Yeah, freedom (complete) will have the ramifications you mentioned. There will be no control on ANYTHING then.

Thanks for the comment.

Ahmar said...

Nice article, and a food for thought...thanks for sharing...

Uni said...

Welcome. Thanks for dropping by!

MAK said...

One thing excess of anything is not good.

Again its a personal preference.

An eye opening article for many.

Uni said...

True. Thanks for the comment!