INTENT-ernet: Are You Sure You Are Ready To Post?


by Vanessa Barbosa

Presently, we are living in the “Twitter generation.” It consists of many accessories that are abused on a daily basis. These accessories are minute symbols that seem to have gained control over our lives to inflate our social status. The #’s and @’s are now the two columns at the entry gates into the psyche of a generation.

Being an active member in a society that is now constituted by a daily quota for “selfies” posted, it’s difficult for me to write this article and not sound like a hypocrite. To be honest, I often find myself contemplating that exact thing (whether I am or I am not a hypocrite.) The reason I believe I am NOT is because I have the humility to understand that my posts will be questioned and there is a high probability they will be mocked. However, I consciously make an effort to post with a specific INTENT.

intention or purpose.
synonyms: aim, intention, purpose, objective, object, goal, target;

Granted, with social media being the monster of influence that it is, selfies/tweets/posts are a blatant reflection of how we want to be perceived in the world. The amazing thing about all of these social connections is that there can be both a myriad of positive outcomes and chain reactions, at the same time, we can easily spiral into an infectious faux-world of narcissism. We are no longer being judged by our behavior, daily interactions or INTENTions but rather how many likes we get, retweets, shares, followers, etc. It can be wonderful to gain awareness through social media, but it can just as easily become a contest of “Who’s Most Popular?”

The internet is becoming a huge fat lie filled with empty promises and manipulated circumstance. We spend hours editing photos, contemplating posts and hashtags in order to be perceived exactly how we intend and, in turn, we lose a piece of ourselves every time. We hold our breath with every post and our pulse is only reactivated when we receive our first online validation of a ‘thumbs up’.

What’s incredible is that with a click of a button we are able to advertise, sell, create buzz and influence the world. But next time you post, ask yourself: “What exactly am I selling?” Instead of using it for vanity sake, maybe we can challenge ourselves to make connections; to make somebody feel something. Make it human.

I, too, was blinded by the shimmer of it all, sucked into this world up until 7 months ago. I lived, was part of and even dated an image maker. Everything from my job to my neighborhood, my love life to my social life, and most all of my posts were a part of an image that I believed I had to create for myself in order to be accepted — elevated. It was only when I quit that life cold turkey that I was able to see the amount of damage I had done to not only my self-worth, but my own ambitions. You see, creating or becoming a part of a false representation can lead you to blur the lines between reality and fiction. When our need for ‘likes’ from social media starts to seep into the need to be liked in our real world, this is when one will find themselves in a state of complete and utter illusion. Delusion.

We have no one to blame for the cause/reaction system on the Internet but ourselves. We gave it the pretentious face and judgmental sneer that it uses to decide who is worthy of its love and who isn’t.

In order to cut myself off from the many poor influences in my life and eliminate the fog, I used social media to confess my daily truths and demons. This allowed me to gain control again and show myself and others that, yes, I am in fact a human being, with vulnerabilities, and life happened.  By doing this, naturally, many people did not want to be associated with my change. To them, it showed weakness, instability and the most frightening of all, REAL LIFE. They come to Facebook, IG and twitter to escape their reality and crawl back into the world they personally manipulated, so any sign or reminder of the real world was not welcome. Nonetheless, I knew that for every 10 followers, there were 2 or 3 that could relate to something human. I INTENTionally wrote these posts of my own trials and tribulations to serve as a wake up call for those who were letting themselves seek deeper into disillusionment. I was certain that many were going to see it as a means for attention, and many showed their concern. But as mentioned at the beginning of this article, EVERYTHING I post had specific INTENT. I no longer wanted to be seen as a glamorous and untouchable mirage which I had created before, I wanted to show a truthful, sometimes ugly and human quality that me, as an artist, is made up of. And as a result, I would try to make people feel something as opposed to make them want something.

Going forward, if we want to create a positive change and give the Internet an ‘attitude adjustment’… next time, consciously register your intent before you click “post”. I’ll leave you with this: when we inevitably die, we will not be remembered by how many followers we have but rather how we made people feel.



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