So the other day, one of my friends was posting their pictures on facebook. “What are you doing?”
“Posting my pictures from a recent business trip.”
“So that my friends will think I’m really successful.”
“Do you think you’re successful?”
You can imagine what the answer to that was.
But did it matter? Apparently, external validation was more important here.
Why is it that we seek external validation? In reality, it shouldn’t really mean much because when we close that door, we know exactly how our lives are, and how we are on the inside. Just because someone else thinks we’re happy or successful, it doesn’t mean we’ll cry less tears. And yet it’s human nature to seek validation. At some point we might have been seeking it offline, nowadays, our self-worth is measured by the number of likes our pictures get.
In the sunnah, there is a duaa someone says if someone else praises them. It translates to, “O Allah, make me better than what they think of me, and forgive me for what they do not know about me, and do not take me to account for what they say about me.”
It makes one internalize the importance of how they are on the inside vs. the image or perception that others have of them. So my message today is simple, before you post your pictures on facebook, ask yourself why? Be true to yourself and don’t project an image of the person you’re not just so that people will go like, “WOOOOW!” because at the end of the day, there’s a swahili saying that goes like, “The thief has forty days (before he gets caught)”…Eventually you will find out that you aren’t really fooling anybody. But yourself, maybe.
This is a common scenario. You want something from someone urgently so you send them an email. They don’t reply and then you decide to go to them and ask, “Why haven’t you replied?”
They tell you, “Your email must have been lost in the middle of the 500 unread emails I have.”
The only reaction to this statement is to raise your eyebrows in suspicion.
a) we all come from the internet age. Okay some of us might not have been born in the middle of it, but at some point or another we did make the transition from the paper era to the computer era.
b) We know what constitutes a large portion of these emails;
1) They are facebook notifications
2) They are twitter notifications
3) They are daily or weekly digests of a blog we follow
4) Multiply point (3) by the number of blogs we follow
5) Forwards and other types of spam.
6) Work-related emails where you’ve been in the conversation loop since forever but you don’t need to open or respond to them
Therefore, most likely than not, these unread emails may remain unread, FOREVER. And for a very good reason, too. While the internet is supposed to help us make communications easier and faster, it has also succeeded in giving some people a truthful excuse to evade work. Next time you hear the “it got lost in the middle of the other 500 emails” ask yourself what’s the true message behind that statement?