Intention (n)- an aim or purpose
This word has been on my mind a lot lately in regards to almost everything in my life right now: my career path, my blog, my extracurricular involvement, and even just my interactions with others. In each of these, what is my intention? What is my purpose, my end goal?
It is so easy to lose sight of intention in this busy and loud world and nowhere is that easier than social media. Whether you’re a blogger or just someone who enjoys Instagram, you joined social media and use it for a reason. Maybe, it’s to stay informed about your friends lives and better connect with them, maybe it’s to promote a business or idea, or maybe it’s a learning space to you where you can connect with resources. Most likely, when you’re scrolling Instagram or putting together your latest caption, you aren’t thinking of this reason. You aren’t thinking about your purpose for being on social media, and that’s not your fault. In fact, social media encourages us not to think about our purpose.
Social media is paradise for a micromanager. Every detail matters on social media and none can be too well thought out. Think about presets. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time in the last two months working on my presets, trying to get the tone, tint, and lighting of my photos exactly perfect and make it so that my feed is cohesive. The crazier part is that presets are an industry: people are selling them constantly and more and more bloggers are making videos/blogs about how they edit their photos with presets.
Maybe, you haven’t gone into the preset world or engaged with them in any way, but you still probably fall into the social media micromanaging. At dinner yesterday with a friend, we spent part of our meal analyzing his photos and why they hadn’t been getting as many likes as usual. We went through every detail in these photos. Were they posted at a topically relevant time? Was the photo aesthetically pleasing or confusing? Were they posted at a high traffic time for Instagram? My friend is not even super into social media and found himself on social media’s micromanaging island.
When you’re constantly thinking about the details, it’s hard to remember there’s a big picture to even think about. Personally, this is my greatest weakness in all aspects of my life, but social media definitely exacerbates it for me. Sometimes, you need to take a step back though and think back to that original reason why you’re on social media. For me, I created my Instagram in the eighth grade, when the app was not even two years old yet. I joined because I wanted to be able to connect and share photos with friends– at the time, I followed about 10 people who I went to school with and the app felt like our collective photo album. This fall, when I started my blog, my reason for Instagram became to create a positive place of honesty, sharing, and growth. I was frustrated with how negative and purposeless a place social media, in particular Instagram, had become and I wanted to do something to change it for others, in whatever way I could.
My intention for all my social media– my blog, my instagram, my twitter, and my pinterest– is to be always be a place of kindness and honesty. I challenge you to think about your own intentions for social media. If you’re lost on where to even start, here’s some captions to ask yourself:
- What reason made you download Instagram or whatever social media app you’re thinking about?
- What are you proud of on your social media? Is it the artistic nature of your photos, your witty captions, or your interactions with friends or followers?
- Do you feel like your in-person persona matches your social media presence? Is your social media presence helping you to be the person you want to be?
- How can your social media help you in your goals as a person? Can it help you be a better friend, a better resource, or a better professional?
- Are you happy with your social media presence? If not, why not and what can you do to change it?