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.