Social Media is By Intention

It all starts here.
The Prophet (s) said, “Actions are by intentions, and every person will get rewarded according to what he has intended” (Bukhari).

Every facet of social media and networking boils down to this. We must examine not just how social media impacts our lives, but also the manner in which we interact with it. Technologies and platforms will change. The core of connecting and sharing is here to stay.

There are a number of tough questions. Why do you choose to follow, friend, unfollow, or unfriend someone? Why do you utilize social media? Why are you posting or sharing a particular status update? Who are you targeting when you write something? What kind of response are you seeking?

Intention is at the core of any action. It is famously said the intention should be checked before a deed, while performing a deed, and after the deed is done.

Some people want to be entertained. Some see it as a productivity tool, or even a business need. Others see it as a way to be politically or socially active. Some use it to simply stay in touch with family and friends. Many use it as a combination of these things.

One of the most fascinating things about social media is that it sometimes uncovers your true intentions. It gives us an outlet to carefully craft a certain persona. We share things that cause us to be perceived a certain way. We carefully write out our biographies, highlight certain quotes, and find the perfect profile picture to make a statement about who we think we truly are. Sometimes we do not even realize the true intention behind what we are trying to convey.

Problems with social media often arise when our intentions go awry. Or when we try to mask our intentions. A person might post something intending to be flippant and then try to mask it with a smiley face emoji at the end. Mixing intentions can be another issue – such as the ages old problem of mixing business with personal. It is famously said that the intention of a deed must be checked before, during, and after in order to try and maintain true sincerity. The same applies to social media.

The challenge is slowing down enough to check your intention in the fast-paced, first-draft, shoot at the hip culture of the internet. The payoff to slowing down though, is immeasurable.

What are ways that intention plays a role in our social media usage? What’s your intent in using it? What important lesson about intention do people need to know?

Leave a comment below.

Comments 4

  1. Anonymous

    I often use social media to express myself, obtain or post reminders. In the process I have met some of the nicest people (Alhamdulilāh). Saying that, it can at times play with one’s intentions or get one to question them. Especially when it comes to posting reminders or sharing personal thoughts and experiences.

    One way to judge one’s (own) social media intentions is to set up a facebook/ Twitter page solely for yourself with no followers and public access to your page. Judge how much you post on your personal page in comparison to what you post on your page open to the public. This will help answer the following; Are our reminders truly for ourself first and foremost ? Are we really posting ‘just’to express ourselves ?

    I am not saying whoever uses social media for these reasons do not have pure intentions. It could be there is nothing wrong with our intentions and shāytan keeps convincing us there is, because of the Khāyr which gets posted.

    However, we all have a responsibility to make sure our intentions are in check and put them to right when needs be.

    Often we measure our intentions on the amount of good we do in private. Which is probably the best way in keeping our intentions in check. However, it also takes a great level of sincerity to carry out a good deed in public when fearing one’s intentions will be questioned.

    We ask Allāh to keep our intentions for Him and to bring us back to the correct way if we fall short to anything other than this. Ameen

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