Face­book feed­back foils friend­ship

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Society| - Amy Dickinson Read­ers can send email to [email protected] amy­dick­in­son.com or let­ters to “Ask Amy” P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY, 13068.

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 about some of my Face­book posts. For in­stance, one time I posted that I was sick. She called me to ask why I would put such a thing on FB.

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 an alumni friend who talked about his shy­ness by not­ing that my son is also shy. Sue reamed me out for “gos­sip­ing.”

I have never told Sue — or any­one else — what they should or shouldn’t post, and I have never re­ceived neg­a­tive feed­back from any­one else.

I re­al­ize that Face­book is not pri­vate, but are there any rules con­cern­ing cri­tiquing the posts of oth­ers? — One Less Friend

Dear One Less: The rules gov­ern­ing Face­book are the same rules that gov­ern all hu­man in­ter­change.

Pic­ture your FB alumni group as if you were all stand­ing to­gether at a cock­tail party. Would you com­mis­er­ate with a friend about his shy­ness, and men­tion your son’s sim­i­lar chal­lenges to the group? You prob­a­bly would.

In that con­text, would “Sue” chas­tise you in front of oth­ers (or at all) con­cern­ing your be­nign choice to share? She prob­a­bly wouldn’t.

So­cial me­dia can fa­cil­i­tate lovely and com­pas­sion­ate kind­ness. So­cial me­dia 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.

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