Young Muslims on Twitter: Hijabis, ‘Akhis’, Marriage and Showing Off

imgres-15There are many interesting phenomena taking place on Twitter, especially when one observes young Muslims. Never in history have young Muslims around the world interacted in such a way: forming friendships, learning from each other, attacking each other, turning into communities and trying to outdo and impress one another. Continue reading

The Boston Bombings show Islamophobia at its worst

Following the deadly explosions near the finishing line of the Boston Marathon yesterday, leaving three people dead and at least 140 injured, the reactions by Muslims, Islamophobes and those who do no fit into those two categories have been highly revealing. Continue reading

A reply to Richard Dawkin’s ‘make sense’ tweets

Dear Professor Dawkins,

Today you tweeted a lot and also retweeted a lot. Below are my responses to most of those anti-religious tweets.

“God couldn’t think of a better way to forgive the sin of Adam (who never existed) than to have his son (aka himself) executed. Makes sense.”

Continue reading

Twitter, Facebook, Food, Life and God

Today is probably the first time in about a year where I have had hardly anything to do. It’s easy to fall into the trap of sitting around doing nothing, Tweeting, Facebooking and grazing like a cattle, you know, searching the fridge every 25minutes. Instead I’ve occupied my mind with fairly useful activities: reading and thinking. Here are some random thoughts from today, some arbitrary but others perhaps intuited from something deeper. Continue reading

The open society and Twitter

Our world is more open than ever: Wikileaks has made government decisions more open; globalisation has made the world more interconnected; the pornographic industry has opened sex up to everybody; and we continue to strip away the amount of clothes we wear by the decade. How we behave on Twitter is a result of this increasing openness.

We open up psychologically on Twitter, often revealing — consciously or not — our most intimate and innermost feelings. In the same way that our society is becoming more open, we, as individuals, are becoming more open. Nothing testifies to this more that Twitter.

Previously, we would have called or texted our friends to express what we feel. Now, we have millions of ‘friends’ who will listen to us.

20120423-002619.jpgWe Tweet things like “I am bored” as if people care. But we know that people don’t care, neither do we expect people to care. We Tweet mundane and trivial things like that, not because we want people to reply saying “me too” or “are you?”, but because we can.

We are free to do that. There is nobody telling us what we can or can’t Tweet. In the name of civil liberties we — in the West at least — have an immense amount of freedom.

We like to tell people what we are thinking, it’s part of being human. If we think of a great idea or think of something new, we don’t just keep it to ourselves, we share it with others. Likewise, we like to tell people what we are thinking on Twitter, even if it isn’t particularly great or new – human beings are social creatures.

An open society is both good and bad. It is good because we can find out when things go wrong more easily; bad because too much freedom and openness can lead to perversity, lewdness and widespread immorality.

20120423-003011.jpgTwitter can be fantastic, how it has been utilised during the Arab revolutions is an example. The amount of information we can acquire just by scrolling through people’s Tweets is also quite staggering. It is also a excellent way to keep up with the news.

However, after a certain amount of time, we start to build up a profile of who we think people are by the way we see them Tweet. We are judgemental by nature; and depending on what we see someone Tweet, we begin to build up an image of who we think that person is. When we talk to people on the phone or online, we often imagine what this person looks like, but, in reality, this person may look completely different to what we imagined.

In the same way, when we build up an image or a profile of what we presume someone to be like by observing their Tweets, this may or may not not conform with who they really are.

But this raises the following questions: does Twitter reveal the ‘real’ us? Does it reveal another aspect of us? Or does it make us behave in a way that is actually not us?

We often can’t properly articulate what we are thinking on Twitter so we may come across as pretentious, arrogant or ill-informed. But, interestingly, depending on who is reading the Tweet, it may interpreted in different ways. This is because we all bring our different experiences and attitudes to life, so we are bound to interpret things in a different way to each other. If someone Tweets: I want to beat up my teacher – one person might it funny, another might find it rude and insensitive.

We often hear people say: Twitter isn’t real – a reference to it being in a cyberworld. But perhaps it is more real than what we refer to as ‘real life’, i.e. out on the street. When we are interacting with people in person, we have fears, anxieties and worry about what people think of us, so we act according to social norms. However, on Twitter, we often act completely differently, not in accordance with social norms but in accordance with what we are feeling at the precise moment – and we sometimes get in trouble for it. Diane Abbott would never dare say “White people love to play divide and rule” in the presence of physical people, but for some reason, she felt comfortable enough saying it on Twitter. Reality, therefore is subjective.

Confessions of an Internet Troll

Dear Diary,

I know it was only yesterday that I wrote to you but I’m really struggling with this addiction. I promised myself this morning that I wouldn’t do it again. I couldn’t help myself. FFS. Today will be the last day, I promise.

Guess who I saw today outside my bedroom window this afternoon? Jack. Yeah, Jack Mitchell. I felt like jumping out my window and fu**ing him up. The pain and torment he put me through as a child was unbearable. I still remember coming home from school and crying. My mum could hardly console me, I mean, how could she? I was suicidal. Bloody bully. I should have killed him and ended the bullying once and for all. Yeah, that’s right – in the same way he mentally tortured me, I should have physically tortured him: cut him into little pieces, like him cut me up inside.

Oh, guess what? It’s been one year today since I cut my contract with them. I should bloody expose them for what they do. When the intelligence service first approached me, I was probably the biggest, baddest troll on the Internet, baby. I could go two whole days without sleep, just commenting: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, but my favourite was The Guardian. I use to comment on the odd article on Islam, but they told me I had to search and wait for anything on Islam to come out and comment on it. While I was at it, I thought I would have a quick bash at anything that came out about Christianity. Those were the good old days, I caused so much mischief, friction and arguments between all these stupid, religious people. I mean, if these organised religions were true, why are their followers so easily wound up by what I say? These religious people are hypocrites. They’re suppose to be all holy, yet they come at me and start swearing and come down to the same level that I went. Ha, idiots.

But like I was saying, I need to stop all this. I need to get myself a job, seriously. Living off my mum isn’t good. I should become a columnist, actually. Why don’t The Guardian hire me? I always see all these articles and I’m thinking, these columnists don’t even know what they are talking about. I’m much better than them. I bet I’ve read more books than any of them – my vocabulary is insane. It’s probably better than Will Self’s. If I did get hired by The Guardian I reckon my friend would be jealous of me. Gareth, or should I say FreeThinker1, would probably troll on me!

Okay, tomorrow is a new day. No more commenting. I’m going to go out into this cold, cruel and callous world, a world where there is no love. Perhaps, I’ll find love

Yours,

Terry123

This blog should not be read on face value, look at the italicised words to comprehend the inner meanings.