Lately, I’ve been questioning my decision to have social media accounts associated with adoption. Initially, I used Twitter as a prospective adopter so there were no moral quandaries about sharing a child’s story. But Twitter has – for me, at least – become a bit of a toxic environment lately and I’ve turned to Instagram to connect with fellow adopters.
Like on Twitter, I have a locked account, meaning I must approve any followers. Obviously, this doesn’t guarantee security – it is important to remember that all social media platforms carry risks – but it does make my content more private. It also means that I am more discerning about who I follow, choosing accounts that edify or educate, rather than just building an unmanageable horde of random people to follow.
I try to ensure that I only share photos of Little Chick from the side, behind, etc. and not face on. Partly, it’s a security measure; partly, it’s respecting that he might not appreciate me sharing some of his story. I hope that he – and others – can see and understand my intentions. He is an amazing little boy who deserves to be championed and celebrated. Our life is generally happy, but mostly mundane. And I think it’s helpful for others, especially prospective adopters, to see that.
My biggest concern with Instagram remains the same, the reason why I’m so late to the party. It’s a bit false. All social media can be fake but on Instagram it is especially easy to view things through a lens (terrible pun intended). When I started posting I vowed, to myself anyway, that I would be realistic, posting candid shots rather than staged shoots. And for the most part I have succeeded. Ultimately though, it is just a snapshot, a tiny glimpse into a life. I try to use the text to give a balanced view, explain that the angelic smile captured in that instant was followed by a frustrated fist coming my way. I don’t lie but I guess I’m not entirely truthful. It’s not that I’m fibbing, more that I’m misleading (mostly unintentionally) by omission. I want to give a true representation, but I also want to be fair to Little Chick. I need to be cautious in not oversharing his story. But equally I don’t want people to think I’m a pompous, egotistical bore. It’s a tricky balance.
If you’re an adopter, adoptee, foster carer, or birth family on Instagram and want to share your account please message me your details. I want to use Instagram, as I have done Twitter, to learn from others and broaden my understanding of adoption. If you have any suggestions for other accounts or hashtags to follow please also share.