Cell phone Etiquette- To BC or not to BC

Our lives have been reshaped by the constant presences of our phones. We have this idea that we need to be connected to everyone and everything all the time.



While the cell phone primarily was used for making phone calls, with the advent of the smart phone that has changed. There is a vast array of features that it presents, from surfing the web to receiving emails, from online shopping to BlackBerry messaging, watching videos, posting on social media networks, the list goes on.

All of this has totally captivated us. We have become dependent on our phones to such an extent that we cannot imagine life without it. We now walk, talk and sleep with our phones. A recent survey by the Time’s magazine reveals that 1 in 4 people check their phones every 30 minutes and 1 in 5 every 10 minutes. A third of respondents admitted that being without their mobile for even a short period leaves them feeling anxious. It is a form of sustenance, that constant feed of BlackBerry messages, Twitter Feeds and FaceBook posts.

So you may be wondering what the problem with this is? No doubt, all this has its positives, but the problem is when it becomes an obsession and we misuse it. While communication is natural and instinctive to human beings, as Muslims we have been given directives for its correct utilisation.

There are two angles that record every action of ours and we will have to account for it. All that we have been prohibited from in our normal life is also applicable with the phone. What we do or say with our phones are not exempted from their records.  Hence, we are to abstain from wastage of time, communicating with the opposite gender, lying, back biting, carrying tales, spreading false information, viewing that which is prohibited in the Shariah .etc.

We tend to broadcast every message we receive without verifying it. By broadcasting a message we are spreading it and endorsing it. If this message happens to be false or fabricated then we have assisted in spreading lies and slander! The consequences of which are huge. It can destroy reputations, lives and homes.

The obsession with our phones has caused us to neglect much of our basic social etiquettes. We tend to give preference to our phones over those who are with us in person. Many a time in social gathering we notice that people are more engrossed in their phones then in conversations with those around them.

Living in this modern age, we cannot shun t mobile phone and technology. We need to utilise it in a responsible and mature manner keeping in mind that we will have to answer as to how we utilise it!

Yusuf Moosagie - 2012-10-08