Social Media

In the social media age we live in now it’s all to easy to forget what life was like before it. 

I recently thought about how the people on there are supportive and how I don’t quite know what I’d have done without them through this process. But there is another side to social media that we all seem to forget from time to time and need to keep reminding ourselves of, particularly through adoption. It’s so important to remember that not everyone on social media is who they say they are. I have to say, maybe rather gullibly, that I do believe that a large majority of people I followed on twitter are who they say they are. I’d built up a relationship up with a lot of these people and they are (mainly) fellow adopters who just ‘get it’. That’s why the support is so invaluable.

The same goes for facebook and, of course, you know everyone on facebook personally anyway. But there are still risks attached to facebook. You put a photo up there, 40 friends ‘like’ that photo and all their friends potentially see that photo which can then lead in to hundreds of people you don’t know seeing your photo. Now think about putting a photo of your child up on facebook, your adopted child. 40 friends like it. They have 100 friends each. If they all see it that’s potentially 4000 people who have viewed that photo. How do you know that in that number of people that there isn’t somebody who will put 2+2 together and know who your child is and then work out who you are. It sounds paranoid and over the top but I’d rather be safe & secure than risk my daughters, or our, safety and protect our identities.

For this reason we took some decisions and put things in place to make our social media life as safe and secure as possible without losing out on being a part of it and continuing to gain support from friends, family and twitter;
1. Never use your real name, your location or post photos of yourself or your child.
2. If you do want to post photos use identity protecting ones, backs of heads only and no identifying landmarks, uniforms, road names in the background.
3. Pick an online name for your child and use it all the time. We chose Pickle thanks to one of my twitter buddies and everyone loves it!
1. Make your security settings as tight as possible. We deleted all profile and cover photos which identified us as these albums are always open to the public.
2. Change your surname. It’s only facebook after all, you don’t need to use your real surname. It’s highly unlikely that the birth family will find out your surname but human error and mistakes do occur and it has happened. And they will know your first names. If they then find out your surname they’d only have to tap it in to facebook search and you may be found.
3. Never, ever post photos. We made this decision for 3 reasons. The first being identity risk. The second being that we don’t think it’s fair for any child to have their photo splashed all over the internet anyway. How would you feel if, when you turned old enough to understand, there were hundreds of photos of you on the internet that you had no control over at the time. And thirdly, for that very reason, we feel that Pickle is far too special to go on a “flash in the pan”, fickle, shallow place such as facebook.
4. Don’t use the child’s real name in status’s. Again, we made the decision to carry the name we’d picked for twitter on to our facebook. All our friends “got it” immediately and started doing the same. They even call her that in real life sometimes!

All of the above works a treat. It makes you feel safe, secure and more relaxed in this social media frenzy! By all means do what you like with photos and names etc The above is just advice but is good for everyone, not just adopters. And all our friends totally love Pickles full made up name, it’s very cute, but of course, I can’t tell you what it is……

Well, I could but I’d have to kill you afterwards ;) 




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