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Social Media & Friendship

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) has been quoted in Bukhari and Muslim as saying: “The example of a good friend and a bad friend is like that of the perfume seller and the blacksmith. The perfume seller might either give you some perfume as a gift, you might buy some from him, or at least you might get a good fragrance from him. On the other hand, the blacksmith might either burn your clothes or, at the very least, you will get a bad odor from him.”

This Hadith, which gives us guidance on friends, can be applied to the context of social media and the internet in the modern era. Nowadays, people spend more time on social media and the internet than with their friends, consuming various types of content. All social media applications are built on the principle that they will show you more of the content you once viewed.

For instance, if you’ve watched something about health, you will be shown similar content again. If you view something political, similar content will be presented to you. Hence, one thing leads to another, especially if the initial content was of your interest.

From this perspective, social media can be not just a good or bad friend, but an extremely good or bad friend. The reason for this is that there’s an abundance of good and possibly even more bad content on it. Therefore, if we use social media, it’s better to be influenced by its positivity and not the negativity.