Today 7th Feb marks Safer Internet Day 1. It’s a campaign by a number of charities supported by many organisations, including Internet Matters 2, Internet Watch Foundation 3 and the UK Government to make the internet a better place for children and young people. While it’s not just young people who need protecting from inappropriate content like violence, pornography, sites promoting alcohol, ransomware, identity theft, child grooming, cyber-bullying, bad language etc. etc., it’s children who are certainly most vulnerable. For Muslims, the nature of inappropriateness should extend to wider manners and morals in the way we interact online and the implications it has for our spiritual, mental and physical well-being, which is relevant to both young and old alike.
According to a study in 2015 by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK, we spend on average 2 hours and 51 minutes online every day 4 . That’s approximately 12% of the day or 18% of the 16 or so hours that the average person is awake. And, over a lifetime it potentially amounts to 11 years of an average 74 years of life expectancy give or take.