My kids’ first foray into social media has been via Instagram. Instagram is an easy way for me to keep an eye on Tessa and Reed and watch their tendencies, stepping in only as necessary — which it hasn’t been so far.
(I’m like Jane Goodall. She observed chimps in the wild habitat of Gombe; I observe imps in somewhat less civilized habitat of middle school.)
I watched as Tessa and Reed stepped into their virtual personae. Their virtual personae ended up consisting of….
…a crap ton of selfies. That’s all they knew to do.
Selfies, I explained, show the world how you want to be seen by others. What *I* find interesting when I check out someone on Instagram — I said in my a teachy tone I surely got from my dad –is how you see the world.
Why not mix up those two things and show both? I suggested. I showed them my Instagram account as an example, which required quite a bit of scrolling before a selfie appeared. “See here?” More teachy-tone. “You’re seeing the world THROUGH my eyes and not so much SEEing my eyes.”
The imps have pretty much ignored me. On the positive side, I am getting used to that.
Lori Holden, mom of a teen son and a young adult daughter, writes from Denver. Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, is available through your favorite online bookseller and makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life. Catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.
Lori was honored as an Angel in Adoption® in 2018 by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.