Technology in Ramadan: Absolute Abstinence or Enough Exposure?

“I confess. I check my cell phone…a lot,” and so the refrain goes.  Many of us have developed a mini-addiction to being ‘connected’ to ensure we don’t miss a beat.

But let’s take a step back. Connection (and the technology that facilitates connection) is neither inherently good nor bad; it’s all about the application and to whom we’re connected. So when we’re connected to a virtual coffee shop with people we have never met, but who we ‘friended’ from afar, while simultaneously driving, texting our miles away, there is a problem. Earlier this year, the city of Houston ran a campaign: “786 deaths on Texas roads this year, drive smart, text later, it can wait.” These little slogans flashed on and off for a whole week on billboards around the city, even as drivers, maneuvered hands-free while texting, and the death toll rose. I could not help but read some deeper meaning into the news serving as a direct reminder from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to wake up and take life on and off the road more seriously. Continue reading