Husband is Facebook troll
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.