How to avoid the mistake of harmful sharing

I used to share every single interesting thing I come across on social media. Any content that made me laugh, caused tears to stream down my face, or even those which left me fuming with anger, were all shared,  just because I could

At first, I didn’t think much about it. It’s just sharing content, right? However, over time noticed a similar pattern in my actions and emotions when it comes to sharing content on social media:

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First, I noticed that whenever I find content that I found interesting, the first thought that comes to my head upon consumption of said content is: “I should share this.”

Then, without any hesitation, I’d click on the “share” button, spend a minute (or maybe fifteen?) adding my thoughts and feelings as comments, and then give my confirmation: “Submit”.

My shared content and comments now online, I’d then spend the next few minutes “casually” reloading my page again and again, feeling my heart skip a beat whenever the number of likes and shares increase.

When that number eventually plateaus, I then find myself subconsciously looking for the next piece of content to share or comment on. In my mind, I could see nothing wrong in what I was doing; in fact, I was doing a service! I was educating people with my “insights” or delivering entertainment, depending on the nature of the content.

And so I consume and share, consume and share, without giving much thought.

Unfortunately, without realising it, I had gotten myself addicted to the “rewards” of sharing content — the affirmation of my opinions, the satisfaction of receiving attention, and the security in making connections.

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What do you choose to see?

Since enrolling into the university’s news team, I noticed a peculiar thing happening to me.

It started innocently enough; an action born out of necessity even. As I walked through the hallways on campus, my head began to automatically turn to face the notice boards lining the walls. With every step, I would scan the boards in their entirety, looking for noteworthy events that my team and I could include in the next day’s broadcast.

Unsatisfied by the lack of physical posters, I did the same in the virtual world. Like a perpetually turned-on detector, I would scour the internet for hours sifting through online groups, websites, twitter lists and even Google alerts to get the pulse of the university. Then the scanning slowly spilled into reality. Every single waking moment, every step I take and every moment I experience, my mind asks only one thing – “Is this news?”.

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How to be an Early Riser

Years ago, my morning routine would involve getting up for Fajr prayers on the third siren sounded by my mum, stumbling out of bed and tripping over fallen blankets, and walking like a zombie to the toilet. Then I’d do my prayers while still being half asleep and dive right back into bed, even as the sky had long transitioned from black to blue.

“Five minutes, five minutes,” I’d croak to my mum, my head buried deep in the crevices of the pillow, my fingers gesturing the number. She would stand at the door, hands on hips, and roll her eyes while warning me that it would be my fault if I was late for school.

In contrast, today I am writing this at 5am in the morning, and have actually been up since 4am. I’m wide awake, my mind busy yet clear, and I’m all set for the day!

In the first article of the two-part series on Good Mornings, I shared the benefits of being a morning person – the why of things. Today, I will be sharing how you can evolve from being a morning-zombie to a morning-cookie in 5 simple steps:

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Good Morning!

At the peak of my busy period last semester, I would often be found juggling a mountain of assignments and tests, along with my 1,001 writing activities for my newsletter, website, journal, and other publications (on top of producing my live radio show, Tracklist for the Dean’s List).

Despite that, I constantly found myself having enough free time for some me-time, like going for dinner with friends, reading book after book, attending extra classes both online and offline, or even watching the ever-exciting The Mentalist series.

What’s my secret?

I have a morning routine. And I try my best to stick to it every single day without fail.

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Becoming Gordon Ramsay

Sometime last semester, my friends and I came across a video of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and we voted to watch it while eating our lunch. We loved the episode so much — it made for cheap entertainment — that we decided to go through all the other episodes (and seasons) during all our lunches and dinners in the days to come.

So every single day, twice a day while we dig in our food, we watched as Gordon Ramsay threw restaurants upside down. He would come in, scrutinize the dishes served, and make blistering comments peppered generously with vulgarities. Our dates with him went on undisturbed for weeks until one evening we decided to eat out at a restaurant off-campus.

The Night of Transformation

The restaurant was empty when we entered it, save for a small family of three seated in the middle. We were quickly ushered to a corner booth, where the waiters took our orders without much fanfare and made for the kitchen.

“Where are all the other customers?”

“I don’t know. Maybe it says something about the food here?”

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Your resolutions will fail. Here’s how you can save them.

Every year on the last day of December, I take out a piece of paper (or create a new entry on my blog) and list down all my resolutions. My resolutions differed throughout the years, but one thing that binds them together is this: usually, none of them stuck.

Why Resolutions Don’t Work

The thing about new year resolutions, ironically, is that there’s nothing resolute about it. Most people do their resolutions the way I do it: make a list, put it up somewhere, and magically expect that just by looking at the list everyday, our entire lives can change.

Once, the Prophet SAW noticed a bedouin (desert Arab) leaving his camel without tying it, to which he asked the bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The bedouin answered, “I put my trust in Allah.” In response, the Prophet Muhammad SAW then advised him, “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah.”

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Revise Better: 5 Creative Ways to Memorize

The Revise Better Series: Being host of the Tracklist for the Dean’s List show on IIUM.FM for the past semester has taught me a couple of things about what makes certain students excel. Since it’s Revision Week once again for IIUM students, in this series I will share some of the studying patterns I found in Dean’s List students over the next few days. I hope they’ll benefit, insyaAllah.

Today’s Pattern: Use Creative Memorization Techniques

All of us are created unique in every way. The way we walk, the way we talk, what drives us to succeed, what makes us tick – each of us are flavoured differently. In fact, even the way we learn and memorize differ from one person to another, MasyaAllah!

Most of the Dean’s List students I interview, either on or off the show, all use different memorization techniques that are suitable to what they are trying to memorize. The criterion for choosing which technique to memorize with are two-fold:

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