Episode Synopsis:

Tech Meister SuperSaf joins us to discuss the lockdown lifestyle and how he’s adjusted to it. How incredible is the productivity of technology today? If this pandemic had happened 15 years ago, when technology wasn’t so prevalent, how would we adjust our working life the way we have now? 10 years ago, Saf being a dedicated gamer, had to shift his focus from gaming, to his work – which was creating videos. But now with the extra time, (and to add a social element to his quarantine), involved him getting back into his gaming to reconnect with his friends. It’s made him less productive in terms of work, but he’s working on trying to achieve a balance, because he believes it’s crucial to reconnect with his friends virtually now that they can’t meet up physically.

Faisal’s ‘book wisdom of the week’, shall we call it, reiterates the importance of taking a break; and in relation to taking breaks relative to different time scales, be it breaks daily, weekly or monthly.

So how does Saf stay motivated? Contrary to popular belief, Saf feels that a face to face conversation holds more value than that done through a camera. The notion of the camera “adding 10 pounds” negatively portraying someone’s physical appearance, is actually enhanced with more negativity, because Saf feels the camera also takes away 50% of your energy. The personal element is taken away. Thus, he compensates that with so much more energy in his videos to draw the viewer in. When he feels low on motivation, he takes a break. Every time he chooses to take a YouTube break, it adversely affects his ratings based on the algorithm. But he knows when he needs to take a step back mentally to leap forward productively. Long term, it pays off.

So let’s talk tech with Saf. His advice on comparing the competing products amongst brands is to choose the product that best suits you. You don’t need to necessarily get the latest version. For example, his favourite feature of the Apple Watch on his wrist, is the reminder to stand up every hour. Something so simple, is very appreciated by him. In his field of work, as with many people, once he’s in the zone it’s difficult to catch a break without realising how much time has passed. So for Saf, it’s incredible to be reminded by a device to do that!

Saf outlines some factors to consider when deciding which product to go for:

  1. Budget,
  2. The ecosystem you’re tied into (Apple/Android),
  3. The key features you’re specifically looking for in the product.

There are key lessons to excel in YouTube according to Saf. Well, actually, it’s a “complicated beast”. Saf states that he loves that YouTube is so easily accessible to anyone who wants to be a ‘YouTuber’. Just uploading a video classifies you a ‘youtuber’. Being a go getter himself, who believes in creating your own opportunities, Saf says that YouTube provides a stepping stone for anyone to start creating content. Passion and confidence will further drive that to a successful YouTube channel. He especially appreciated the fact that YouTube gave him a platform at a time when ethnic minorities were not so apparent in mainstream media. Having said that, the competition is huge. Current stats state that about 400-500 hours of content is being uploaded on YouTube every single minute! Yikes! It’s harder to go into YouTube today than it was yesterday, but it will be harder to go into it tomorrow than it is today. The important thing, he believes, is to go into YouTube with the right mindset. Not to become famous or to make a lot of money. YouTube is very complicated. Don’t wait around, just go ahead and do it. But make sure you go in with the right intention. You only get better at something by doing it more.

Saf openly confesses to being the “Ramadhaan Muslim” who reaches his peak of his faith during Ramadhaan, going over and beyond with the obligatory and the optional. But one Ramadhaan this all changed when he realised it was important to concentrate on the compulsory acts. It was then that he remained consistent even out of Ramadhaan. Because he didn’t set himself unrealistic and overwhelming targets. If he was to pass this same advice onto someone who wanted to continue with Salah, he would advise not to overcomplicate it. Start with the 5 daily prayers and grow from there. But all it takes is to actually start. Similarly, with YouTube, don’t aim for exceptionally high views from your first upload. You’ll get better with the feedback. Persistence and patience will result in success.

Saf, despite having his tech channel, was commonly asked for beard growing tips when his viewers noticed his beard. Debating whether this content was appropriate for a tech channel, he took the plunge. That video is on half a million views! Had he never done it, he’d never have known that it would be such a hit. On the other hand, he’s also had scenarios of trying things that didn’t work. But the point is – if he didn’t try, he wouldn’t have known how it would pan out.

It’s important to find a niche online Saf mentions. There’s so much stuff out there. If you’re trying to do something to appeal to everyone, you’re going to be one tiny fish in such a vast sea. Saf found his forte within tech. Something he likes and cares about, not just because it was something that would be profitable. He has a Multimedia Computing degree because that’s his jam. Find what you’re passionate about and that will naturally encourage you to go over and beyond within that scope.

And finally, this episode saw a completely unrehearsed trial of some questions from ‘The Game’.

Faisal asked, “what was the point in your life when you realised you could ‘do it’?”

Saf believes it was actually the opposite with him. His over confidence led him to believe he could do anything. But he learnt to find the balance of confidence without over-stepping into arrogance. There’s no specific turning point he feels.

Faisal then goes on to ask, “Who do you appreciate that probably doesn’t know it?”

Without hesitance, Saf answers, “my family. My brother riz who helps me out a lot especially in the background. My cousin Cas, also in the background. They might not know it because I don’t mention them publicly”.

Next question Faisal asks, “when I think of meeting Allah, I feel ___?”

Saf says “this is something that I’m going to tie back to something I heard from your podcast in the episode with Hamza Tzortzis. When I think of meeting Allah I think of forgiveness. How can I use my platform for good without making it about me? Anything you do islamically should ideally be private. It should be done in the right way without risking the intention. In that episode, Hamza mentions that any good he does publicly, he doesn’t expect any reward for it. But what he is in hope of, is that Allah will forgive him for his mistakes and for any personal satisfaction he may have gained from public good he was doing. And that’s what hit me. I resonated with it and tried to adapt the same principle”.

Question four – “One of Allah’s names translates loosely to ‘your protecting friend’. Name a time in your life when you felt that name in existence?

“If I’m honest, many times. One of conversations I was having with Cas, my cousin I mentioned, about how everything in this world is temporary. And in the world of social media it’s even more difficult to get that connection. For example when people go through a bad time they mention it on social media. I’m of the opinion that it’s more important to speak to someone physically about that. Whilst people may not always be there for you when you need them, but at any time, any place in the world, you can get a connection and reach out to Allah at any given moment. And that’s the connection you can always fall back on”.

Finally, “when was the last time you laughed so hard that your stomach hurt?”

“Something that happened recently, on another live stream, with my friend. We all went on to troll him, and this one guy popped on and wanted a review on his laptop because he wanted to re upload it on his channel. This guy was a big fan. But through his appreciation, was actually stealing the videos. Though it was violating copyright, his intention was good. But I found it hilarious”.

A great catch-up with SuperSaf!