influencers

Social Media and Influencers, a Double-Edged Sword

Influencers

Zamena-Manekia-ManjiThe writer, Zamena Manekia-Manji (Bujumbura, Burundi) is a writer for TMJ News. Born and raised in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and currently residing in Bujumbura, Burundi, her writing has evolved from fiction to Islamic, contemporary, and historical writings. She works in the history and Islamic events department at TMJ News, where she previously worked as a breaking News writer. Zamena is also a writer for 313juniors, a YouTube channel that works to produce Islamic content for little children, trying to improve her writing with each task. Through her words, she hopes to shed some light on Islamic History and share her thoughts on contemporary views through an Islamic lens, slowly doing her part towards building a better and stronger society.

I

t’s everywhere now.

The delusional lifestyle, a stark contrast to the humble works of scholars and other learned personalities, floods through our Instagram pages, with Influencers showing off an array of a questionable amount of shiny sleek cars, a bank balance that would “inspire” one to delve into the same career path, earning bucketloads of money with cringy, immoral and sometimes borderline criminal stunts and pranks, or by overexposing their entire lives, leaving us to wonder, how did social media’s presence in our lives spiral out of control? 

In other words, social media is a double-edged sword, with both good and bad consequences. It’s no secret that social media was created for the mere purpose of tracking the masses, controlling our very thoughts, and fulfilling their agendas in the process to mention a few. One of the other incentives even revolves around promoting a secular, un-Islamic lifestyle, filled with LGBTQ concepts and the whole “my body, my choice,” mindset while simultaneously allowing brainwashing and biased media sources to reach us. However, they created a tool that could potentially backfire on their own agendas, despite social media littered with dangerous ideologies, a handful of people are utilizing the platform with great caution, using its power to spread the truth and in the process, shifting the paradigm. Take the example of Palestine, if it wasn’t for the power of social media, the world would still fall prey to Israel’s old game of playing the victim.

Perhaps this is what we, as Muslims are required to do. We cannot simply live under a rock and refrain from using social media, rather we should take advantage of the other edge of the sword and spread the teachings of Islam, which a lot of times leaves the masses in awe, contrary to what the West filled their minds with, again, thanks to social media.

This is where we need to be super careful as Muslims while presenting ourselves as “influencers.” We fail to realize that we are being watched like a hawk, and just like Spiderman says, with great power, comes great responsibility. We cannot reduce ourselves to a nonchalant and” I don’t care what people think,” mindset, rather, If we choose to become a social personality on Instagram, we need to be very careful about what we preach, present and expose to the public. One wrong move or comment can drown people into a pool of self-doubt, leaving them to question their worth, and potentially leading to even bigger problems such as mental health issues. We should also collectively remember that as Muslims, The Lord will question us for everything, and should we use social media to deviate our followers, we shall not be spared.

Imam Ali (a.s) has advised us to raise our children according to their generation. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is the era of social media, and as parents, we need to use the same platforms to raise our children, rather than completely shunning ourselves and our offspring from it. All we need to do is adhere to the teachings of Islam while navigating ourselves and our children through this whole new virtual world that keeps getting more advanced and closer to our lives than we could possibly ever imagine. 

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