“Hey y’all, look at this,” is the conscious or subconscious thought every person has before posting something online. Whether we realize it or not, there’s a desired perception, a goal, an agenda, in every photo and word.
I sent a piece I wrote recently to an old professor and friend of mine to review and critique. He affirmed that it was written well but pointed out that I had too many changing goals from beginning to end. “What’s your agenda?”
As I looked back through I realized he was right. I hopped all over the place, and it quickly became clear that this bit of writing was more a therapeutic stream of consciousness than a very pointed essay.
I think that’s a useful lens when sharing online. What’s your agenda? Not that every post needs to be lathered in deep meaning that makes a single point, but are you sharing this with good intentions or any intention?
“I want to look smart. I want to look attractive. I want to look successful. I want to look fun. I want to look _______.”
There’s always something that fills in that blank. And if there’s nothing else you take away from this, at least the next time you scroll through Facebook you’ll have a fun time deciphering agendas.
I’m not immune to the tendency to portray myself in the light I want to be perceived in. But if I could approach it with completely pure intentions, every post would carry at least one of these elements:
So before you hit submit, post, or share—before you make a judgment or let an assumption about another creep into your mind—at least ponder the purpose of the post, that subtle thing behind the thing.