Ad­ven­tures with so­cial me­dia

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­nie@cre­

DEAR AN­NIE » In this day and age, it is very hard to ig­nore what peo­ple are do­ing in their pri­vate lives when it’s plas­tered all over Face­book, In­sta­gram and Twit­ter. Specif­i­cally, I am re­fer­ring to photos of so­cial gath­er­ings that have me feel­ing left out.

I have a grown child who is mar­ried. Re­cently, the mar­ried cou­ple moved. When they moved in to their home, we were there to phys­i­cally help them. The whole fam­ily helped in their move — all four par­ents, an un­cle, a sibling and a nephew. We also gave them a very gen­er­ous check for a house­warm­ing gift so they could buy a few ex­tra things for their new home.

It has been my great dis­plea­sure to learn, from their posts on Face­book, that my son and daugh­ter-in-law have hosted a few din­ners in their new home. She’s had a “girls’ night in,” and he’s had a “guys’ night in.” They’ve hosted a din­ner party for my daugh­ter-in-law’s side of the fam­ily. How­ever, as par­ents of the other child in that mar­riage, we have yet to be in­vited to their new home for a so­cial gath­er­ing.

I am try­ing not to take this per­son­ally, but I can’t help but feel slighted and dis­ap­pointed that our fam­ily has yet to be in­vited to their home. I “like” all the pic­tures from all their par­ties, but inside I’m both­ered that we aren’t im­por­tant enough to have been in­vited over as every­one else has been. Sug­ges­tions? Thoughts? — Fam­ily Mat­ters DEAR FAM­ILY MAT­TERS » I can tell your feel­ings are about to boil over, so turn down the flame or take off the lid.

The for­mer means cool­ing off. They only moved in re­cently, as you said; maybe they wanted to host an in­ti­mate din­ner with each side of the fam­ily sep­a­rately and your daugh­ter-in-law’s side just hap­pened to be first. The lat­ter means ex­press­ing how you feel — but in a healthy, pos­i­tive way, free of guilt­trip­ping and ac­cu­sa­tions. For ex­am­ple, you might tell your son, “We’d love to come over some­time when you’re set­tled in and it’s con­ve­nient for you.” The main point is not to blow up.

DEAR AN­NIE » Wow! I couldn’t agree more with “Don’t Shoot,” who hates hav­ing her pic­ture taken and posted on­line. I am a very pri­vate per­son and do not un­der­stand peo­ple’s crazy ob­ses­sion with liv­ing their lives on the in­ter­net. I’ve no in­ter­est in telling the world what I ate for break­fast. When I ask folks not to in­clude my pic­ture or my name in post­ings, I get the same re­ac­tion as “Don’t Shoot” — that I need to get with the pro­gram. My husband and I made a pact not to bring our phones to the din­ner ta­ble, in­clud­ing when we are out to din­ner. It amazes me to see folks sit­ting to­gether with their heads down, peer­ing into their phones and hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions with every­one ex­cept the per­son sit­ting across from them. Where did we lose our manners? — “Outta Touch” in Vir­ginia DEAR “OUTTA TOUCH” » It is sad to see a cou­ple look­ing at their phones more than each other’s face. Wit­ness­ing that makes me worry we’ve lost not just manners but a bit of our hu­man­ity. For­tu­nately, since print­ing “Don’t Shoot’s” let­ter, I’ve heard from dozens of peo­ple echo­ing this sen­ti­ment, which means there’s hope.

You might tell your son, “We’d love to come over some­time when you’re set­tled in and it’s con­ve­nient for you.” The main point is not to blow up.

Dear An­nie An­nie Lane

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