February 7, 2013 in Features

Annie’s Mailbox: Cold shoulder from family on Facebook

Kathy Mitchell
 

Dear Annie: I am a grandmother in my 60s. I was excited to learn about Facebook and start conversing with friends and relatives. I love seeing all of their pictures and videos and reading their statuses and comments. I always make comments and give compliments on their pictures, etc.

But is it wrong for me to be hurt and resentful when some of them completely ignore me in return? It is mainly the relatives who do this. These are the same people to whom I have sent checks in hard times and for every occasion, and it bothers me when I see that they comment to other friends, but act like I don’t exist.

I hate to say anything to them, because they would resent me for it, but it hurts my feelings, and I don’t understand their behavior. They act as if it would cost them long-distance money to respond to me.

I believe you can find out a lot about people by friending them on Facebook. You discover which ones are really interested in you and which ones simply like to post pictures of themselves. It is so self-centered. What should I do? – Hurt in Virginia

Dear Hurt: Please don’t mistake Facebook for genuine friendship and a true relationship. It is simply a convenient way to keep track of others’ activities and life events and let them know about yours. Some people are considerate and responsive (like you), and others, less so. Your relatives, in particular, may think that their relationship with you is covered outside of Facebook and therefore doesn’t require the same degree of attentiveness online. It’s OK to ask when you see them in person, but we urge you not to take this too seriously. We don’t believe it is anyone’s intent to hurt your feelings.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net.


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