Dear Amy: I am in my 60s and have known “Sue” for more than 40 years.
Over the years, Sue has made several negative comments on my Facebook posts. Eventually I changed privacy settings so she couldn’t see my posts.
We also both belong to a school alumni Facebook group. Within the last few months she has criticized a couple of my comments to others in that group.
Neither of these comments had anything to do with her. In one, I commiserated with a friend who talked about his shyness by noting that my son is also shy. Sue reamed me out for “gossiping” about my son.
Sue refused to stop lecturing me, and I ended up telling her how angry I was about her intrusiveness and criticism.
I realize that Facebook is not private, but are there any rules concerning critiquing the posts of others?
Amy says: The rules governing Facebook are the same rules that govern all human interchange: Understand that anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion.
Picture your FB alumni group as if you were all at a cocktail party. Would you commiserate with a friend about his shyness, and mention your son’s similar challenges? You probably would.
In that context, would “Sue” chastise you in front of others concerning your benign choice to share? Probably not.
Social media can facilitate lovely and compassionate kindness. It also emboldens people to be mouthy, obnoxious and combative. A wise person is as discreet and aware on social media as they are in real life.
And then there’s “Sue.” She called you out, she wouldn’t leave you alone and now you are no longer “friends” — in real life or online. If you choose to critique her, do so privately.
Make phone calls in private
Dear Amy: Although we have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, den and a living-dining room, my husband makes personal phone calls on his cellphone in my presence.
When he does, I am unable to watch TV, make my own phone calls, whatever.
I have asked him to make calls away from me. Am I wrong to dislike this immensely?
Amy says: Taking a call in the presence of others is one thing. (When doing so, it is polite to say, “Oh, this is from work; do you mind if I take it?”) Then you take your phone to a quiet place where you can concentrate on the call, and not bother others.
There is no justification for making a call in front of other people, certainly in a large house where there are many places to perch. That’s. Just. Rude.
If your husband decides to make a call while you are both in the TV room, ask him, “Honey, could you do that in the other room?” If he refuses, you would be justified in turning up the television volume so that you could continue to hear it.
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