I recently received a new gadget, a device that I’ve wanted for quite some time, thinking that it would help me in my studies and elsewhere.
These things are supposed to help us save time, right?
They have so many different features, it’s hard to keep up. But it does seem like they are all trying to help us save time, what with the Siri and everywhere-you-go Internet Access and reminder apps, etc.
I don’t remember the last time I wasted this much time trying to figure out how the device will help me save time. It got so bad, I brought it with me to my Qur’an class, just so that when my teacher asked me why I did not finish my homework – I could pull it out and show her why.
After a week, I realized I had to sign out of my email on the device. I am not a spend-all-day-on-emails type of person, but I had a feeling that email access at my fingertips was the main issue. Funny, because since signing out of my email, I don’t think the device has left its box lol.
Here is some advice I came up with for myself, and for others:
1. As soon as you can, sign out of your email (and anything else that you check compulsively).
Some devices force you to sign in in order to buy apps and the likes, but as soon as you can, sign out because you can check your email elsewhere. Emails were not originally designed to be responded to as soon as you read them. If someone needs to contact you for an emergency, they should send a text or call. The more you spend time responding to emails (as well as facebook comments, the twitter equivalent, etc.) the more time you will continue to spend on it because you will be feeding the beast (the more emails you respond to, the more emails you will be sent).
2. Don’t rush to figure out all of its features.
Within time, you will get to experience all the different features. For example, one day you will realize you would like to download a surah for listening purposes. That day you will figure out how to do that inshaAllah. If you rush to figure it all out, you will actually waste time doing something that would have happened on its own anyway.
3. Monitor your usage.
Anyone who cares about their time will monitor it in regards to everything (email, socializing, eating, breathing – just kidding). It might be a good idea, though, to set a timer for 20 minutes, do what you need to do, and then get off.
4. Ask the people who know if you do not.
Find some people who have had the gadget for longer than you, and ask them what they use it for. This will save you a lot of time on your own research.
5. Use it for good, not evil.
I didn’t want to assume that this goes without saying. With every blessing that Allah swt gives you, use it to enhance your worship of Him. This is your test.
6. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
If you are getting along just fine without a new device, don’t buy it and don’t crave it (and definitely don’t unnecessarily upgrade!). It may very well be that shaytan is using it to distract you and you will only be more distracted once you own it. Pause and wonder why the people of the past, who owned no devices, got 100x more work done than we do today with gadgets spilling out of our ears.
May Allah swt bless us in our time and increase us in himma. Ameen