How do you define Virtual Networking / Socialism?

I was asked this question on formspring quite a while ago and thought it would be good for both you and me if I shared it. Your feedback and comments will be appreciated. I could have written more but time has locked me. Hope to hear from you —— How do you define Virtual Networking / Socialism? Is it good for us? What will be the side effects / impacts on our real life? Brief description / definition will be appreciated. Social Networking is a platform to communicate with people globally. Sometimes in the real world connecting to other people is more of a challenge unless you are that jolly and extrovert type. To be able to approach people, have a conversation, find each other’s similarities is not as easy. Social networking has made all that easier, the reasons why is something I think about often. Maybe its easier for people to chat up without feeling weird or perhaps they like the shield that the the screen gives them. They can choose to be themselves or someone else, either way, they communicate and connect. Considering if its good for us, everything in this world has pros and cons similarly so does social networking. Social networking is platform to globally connect, to be able to see beyond differences, to find people with the same interests. Other than that it provides better communication and connection for businesses too but lets not get into that. The cons however i believe are greater. Since we sit behind a shield we do not know if the person we are talking to is who we think he/she is. We believe what they make us believe, we trust them for who the pose to be. Trust without thought leads to many problems even in the real world and through social networking it is a greater problem one that leads to fraud, deception etc. Now to see this in the light of Islam, Islam has asked to refrain from communicating with the opposite gender unless necessary. Talking about reasons why is another topic altogether. Also Talking a lot isn’t much preferred, as [1] The Prophet advised us in a hadith related by at-Tirmidhiyy: which means: “The one who adheres to the lengthy silence (except from that which is good) will be saved on the Day of Judgment.” In the hadith related by al-Bayhaqiyy, the Prophet said: which means: “You shall be saved as long as you are silent, for if you speak, it will either be in your favor or stand against you.”  [1] An interpretation of a hadith related by al-Bayhaqiyy, the Prophet said: “You shall be saved as long as you are silent, for if you speak, it will either be in your favor or stand against you.” [1] Another interpretation by Ibn Abid-Dunyia related the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said: which means: “One can greatly beautify himself with two habits–good manners and lengthy silence.] That is so because talking and communicating a lot lead to gossip, and gossip is one of the major sins in Islam. Once we begin talking we don’t think twice about what we are saying or who we are talking about and social networking is the HUB of all that. Ergo, social networking is majorly wrong in Islam than right. We can use it for good purposes such as spread knowledge about Islam, give Dawah, help Muslims etc but we often use it for personal purposes such as talk to friends, gossip, make new contacts all among whom we communicate with the opposite gender, become friends etc. in conclusion the cons outweigh the pros. Lastly, how it impacts our real life, for me there are no pros about it. We have become lazy, stopped socializing and spending time in the real world, are not able to give as much time to family and friends around us as we should, are more keen on knowing and talking to the people online, indulge in pointless gossips etc. Social Networking is a means of communication and carries good and bad both. If one is on social networks, its best to set limits for ones self and remain within the boundaries of Islam firstly and then your own. If I have been a part of anything that has caused me to backbite or do or say wrong, May Allah forgive me. May Allah forgive us all, May HE Guide us on the righteous path and utilize our means of communication and technology in a more productive way to benefit ourselves and Islam.  Wrong doings are never far behind, they chase you and tempt you. One should keep strong and fight them off, purify ones self and influence others for the best Refrences 1. http://www.alsunna.org/forum/index.php?topic=63.0 (This could have been longer, but whatever 15 minutes allowed me :P) —— Link to question: http://www.formspring.me/mariayousuf/q/280248208158898083

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