Hus­band is Face­book troll

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - Up­set Wife Dis­ap­pointed

Dear Amy: I gen­er­ally use Face­book to keep in touch with friends I don’t get to see of­ten. I don’t get per­sonal.

My hus­band has re­cently be­come much more ac­tive on Face­book. This has in­cluded trolling friends’ po­lit­i­cal posts and call­ing strangers out — and not al­ways in a nice way. While I agree with most of his po­lit­i­cal views, I think he comes off as a jerk.

He has also made raunchy and in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments. I have called him out on­line and in per­son, but he in­sists he doesn’t care. He says, “It was a joke. It’s just Face­book,” but it all makes me re­ally un­com­fort­able.

I don’t want him to stop be­ing him­self; I just wish he would tone it down and con­sider how pub­lic his com­ments are.

I know that “un­friend­ing ” him will only stir the pot and not fix any­thing.

How do I make him un­der­stand how this af­fects me?

Dear Up­set: Your hus­band ei­ther doesn’t re­al­ize or doesn’t care that his be­hav­ior on Face­book can dam­age his re­la­tion­ships and his rep­u­ta­tion. Say­ing, “It’s only Face­book” is dis­count­ing the mega­phone’s role in a per­son’s of­fen­sive broad­casts. It is ex­tremely naive not to re­al­ize the power of this pub­lic bul­letin board, where posts, com­ments, pho­tos and memes can fol­low you around for­ever.

Per­haps he was re­press­ing this be­fore, but now he is choos­ing to show you — and the rest of the world — who he is.

If I were you, I would “un­friend” or hide his posts on FB. Then he would be faced with the pub­lic con­se­quences of his be­hav­ior, and you would be spared the temp­ta­tion to cor­rect him.

Dear Amy: Our mother re­cently died. Years ago, when Dad died, there was no ac­knowl­edg­ment from friends or rel­a­tives. With the pass­ing of our mother, com­pas­sion went out the win­dow. Some peo­ple re­sponded with true sor­row, but for the most part I feel the rest of the con­do­lences were from peo­ple guilted into it.

When these peo­ple had loss in their lives, we sent cards to all im­me­di­ate fam­ily mem­bers. Through the grapevine, I heard that their lives were so filled with other fam­ily mat­ters — in­clud­ing health prob­lems — that they couldn’t re­spond to Mom’s death.

The way I feel right now is when a fu­ture loss oc­curs for them, I will send a blank post­card say­ing, “Sorry for your loss. This is more than I got from you.”

Dear Dis­ap­pointed: I would en­cour­age pa­tience; you lost your mom and you miss her. Of course you want this loss ac­knowl­edged. But you seem bit­ter about al­most all of the con­do­lences you’ve re­ceived.

You don’t get to de­ter­mine which re­sponses are gen­uine and which are a re­sult of be­ing “guilted.”

Peo­ple ap­proach loss dif­fer­ently; you re­act with kind­ness, but some peo­ple shut down. They don’t know what to say, and so they make the mis­take of not say­ing any­thing.

I hope you can deal with your grief in a con­struc­tive way; avoid keep­ing score and most im­por­tantly, don’t let this change how you re­act to other peo­ple’s loss. Send­ing a sar­cas­tic note of con­do­lence is wrong. A sin­gle mo­ment of smug sat­is­fac­tion would soon be eclipsed by fran­tic claw­ing at the let­ter­box to try and get your note back.

Send ques­tions to Amy Dick­in­son by email to askamy@amy­dick­in­son .com.

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