I’m not a particularly heavy user of social media outlets. I was convinced into a FB page years ago by a group of friends (peer pressure!) that is scattered across the country, and I admit to its usefulness in keeping up with people who now live far away, but I post very occasionally and mostly read and comment. I don’t really use anything else in that genre.
I have friends who post daily or more, updates on their lives, families, businesses, pets. A few of these people use this as the primary way of keeping in touch with others, but it always feels so one-sided to me. This isn’t a conversation, even if I’ve been invited, by the posting itself, to comment publicly on someone’s life.
I keep in touch with a few close friends primarily via e-mail. A few more, I exchange letters with. A very few, I talk to by phone. These communications are not daily, not even weekly, but there is more to them, a concentrated effort to share “this is my life right now” and ask how their things are going. This feels comfortable to me, and private (though, yes, I’m so aware that e-mail is only sort of private). This, apparently, makes me different. It’s not generational, although I have noticed a pretty distinct difference between the postings and frequency of GenX and GenY friends (and an even stranger distribution of those older than these groups). It’s me.
Really digging into the “why” of this need for privacy, I’m starting to think that it, too, has roots in adoption. My parents quest for a child was “public” information. My adoption was “public” information — everyone around me knew more about it than I did for years. My difference, my early story (or, rather, my parents’ story about me — I didn’t know my own origin story until a few years ago) was all public knowledge. I’ve never been shy about telling someone I was adopted, but answering any questions beyond that will definitely depend on my mood that day.
Information is power. Until I started my own search for my own history, that power was never mine. I was never the one with the information, not about myself. And at this point, I see little need to share that information, that power, with the entirety of my social circle. Granted, that makes this blog and what I’m doing here a little odd, but this is different, to me. There is also power in connection, and maybe that’s why adoptees write. I don’t know about other adoptees, but I’m writing for and to other adoptees, inspired by other adoptee writers, seeing the power of finding their voices.
Because that power is new to me, I still hold it close. I still hold myself close, with all the fears of rejection and intrusion that I’ve had my whole life keeping me from sharing with anyone I’ve not clearly established a trust with. When I “curate” myself for the world online, I guess I just don’t have much to say yet.