All Twitterpated

by admin on July 29, 2010

I am seriously upset at how people are beginning to lose any kind of etiquette when it comes to communication. Now I am not one to get angry at so-called “txt spk” even though I think it’s not too much to ask to spell out words and use proper punctuation. (Isn’t it a bit sad that you have to ask people to “use capitalization, paragraph breaks and punctuation” when submitting a story? When did this stop being normal in written communication?)

Errmm, uh….I actually needed to edit your submission due to lack of capitalizing of proper nouns, incorrect use of quotes and one misspelling.

However, what really annoys me is when people think social networking websites are an adequate substitute for a phone call, letter or card.

When I was pregnant with my first child two years ago, I went to great lengths to make sure my close family was told personally before it became “public knowledge” and people started talking about it on Facebook for example. We even flew out to another state just so we could tell my husband’s family in person and not over the phone. And we made sure that our families would not pass on our happy news to other relatives who would (rightfully) be a bit disappointed not to be told by us personally.

Today, I learned that my sister is getting married. Did she send a card? Did she call? Did she at least send an email? Maybe a mass email to all her family and friends? No. She put it in a ‘tweet’, a Twitter message that goes out to *everybody*. It’s a good thing I have a Twitter account or might not even know! Has this really become acceptable? Am I just too old-fashioned?

On the other hand, she also uses Twitter to discuss her various digestion problems, which in my book is not only bad manners but also disgusting – so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.    0713-10

There is a folder in the Ehell forum called “Techno-quette” in which members discuss the intricacies and foibles of online etiquette. Worth reading!

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Typo Tat July 29, 2010 at 5:22 am

Your event, your choice of announcement. If you want to call or visit everybody with your news, it’s your prerogative, but other people aren’t obligated to do the same.

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Bint July 29, 2010 at 6:51 am

Whilst I agree to some extent, this is a personal choice. I wouldn’t like it if my sister told me she was getting married via Twitter. I loathe mass emails too, but it’s HER information, and she can share it how she chooses. People have very different approaches to sharing their personal information with friends and family. In all honesty, flying across the state to announce a pregnancy then asking them not to tell other relatives strikes me as completely over the top – you see how we differ.

I would never substitute Facebook for contacting my family and close friends directly, but again, it’s my choice because it’s MY information. Do you know how your sister has told those not on Twitter? Perhaps she was planning to contact you separately and put her news up there first because she was excited. Why should she tell you first? I’ve no idea who my sisters told first about their marriages or pregnancies. I don’t know if they put it on a network site or not, and I don’t care either. I can’t see a violation there, just a clash of tastes between the way you choose to share personal news and the way your sister did.

The sharing digestive problems via Twitter I do agree is pretty grim.

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QueenofAllThings July 29, 2010 at 7:16 am

Personally, I feel that Twitter is yet another sign that ‘we’ have given up entirely on community and devoted our energies to the advancement of ‘me!’ I can’t imagine that anyone would be interested in my daily musings (or, for that matter, my digestion) – the focus on self is disheartening.

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Princesssimmi July 29, 2010 at 7:42 am

How people communicate can vary hugely from person to person. I would not fly to another state to announce a pregnancy, I’d call everyone. My Nan emails everything. My cousins use Facebook.

Although I dislike using Facebook an Twitter for personal news, I think the greater faux pas here is yours for commenting on how your sister chooses to communicate. If she’s happy with complete strangers knowing her secrets, leave her be.

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AMC July 29, 2010 at 8:00 am

I happen to be “Facebook friends” with a young lady I went to high school with. Several months ago, she posted on her status that she was engaged to be married. Of course, as this is a public forum, many people congratulated her, including myself, and wished her and her future husband a happy life together. Well, I happen to work with her father, so when I saw him the next day, I congratulated him on the happy news. He just stared at me blankly and said, “What happy news?” I said, “[Darling Daughter] getting engaged.” He had no idea what I was talking about! She had posted on a public forum about her engagement before telling her family! I felt like such a heel for giving away the surprise.
Now granted, I could understand if Darling Daughter is not close to her family and thus did not feel like sharing the news with them, but as far as I was aware, their relationship was a happy one. I still feel a bit bad about it, but how was I supposed to know??

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Sensible Shopper July 29, 2010 at 9:23 am

I don’t do Twitter or Facebook. I tried Facebook, but I still can’t see the point. It seems to me that people spend more time on there writing about what they’re doing than actually doing it.

Maybe I just can’t mult-task well enough to write about it while I’m doing it.

I’m with the OP on this one – some news should be shared personally, if at all possible. And even when you’re just BURSTING with excitement, and want to shout it to the world, I think it’s better to go ahead and shout it to the worlf than tweet it to the world. After all, after you shout, you can still call your family or best friend, and tell them that you’re “telling” them first, so they get all warm/fuzzy/excited, too. How excited/fuzzy are people going to feel about reading a tweet? “What, I’m not good enough to tell first? Or even second? I had to READ about it?”

Back before Twitter, this was the equivalent of not telling your family and friends before putting an announcement in the paper. Bad form.

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Shayna July 29, 2010 at 9:49 am

Txt spk has been specifically designed to send messages quickly. It isn’t always efficient or easy to spell out full words on a phone’s keypad. I have no issue with it. I do, however, agree that the English language is being degraded as this form of spelling becomes more and more common in everyday life. It should be used for what it was designed for and that’s it. But, languages evolve, like everything else, so there really isn’t much that we can do about it. At some point, it will become mainstream. The brain can, after all, rcoeingze wrods taht are splld out of ordr, and wtih vwoels mssng, as lnog as the frst and lst lttrs are crrct. American English did this by removing the ‘o’ from a lot of English words, but it is a recognized, and widespread, form of English.

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mygwyn1997 July 29, 2010 at 9:50 am

My former sister-in-law told her son that she was getting re-married in a text message. She turned 48 years old this year, so I know it isn’t a generational issue. I have to say that I was shocked to hear it. She’s close to her children, and I wouldn’t have thought it of her. Things are just changing so rapidly now, people feel as though they have to be on the cutting-edge. It is as though being personal, being face-to-face, is anathema today. It’s a shame.

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AS July 29, 2010 at 10:39 am

I don’t know whether discussing important stuffs on social networking sites is good or bad, but I know a lot of people do it and I think it is pretty weird.

When I started dating my boyfriend, we updated our relationship status 2 years after we were certain (we never had anything on their before), when we knew everyone close to us already knew. A friend of mine got engaged to his girl friend, and the only way I knew it is through his facebook update! And he is not too active on fb either. When I called up, his reply was that he still hadn’t got the time to call up everyone. In that case, wait to update the status! We were invited to his wedding, and hence he is not some random friend either. I have stopped judging people or taking offense anymore about facebooking! When I told the above friend’s story to my bf’s kid-sister (a high schooler), she thought it was pretty weird too – so we are not too back dated after all! BTW, my friend’s wedding card was very simple, beautiful, and had no etiquette blunders at all.

Discussing health problems and personal stuffs on facebook… eww! I hate it when people do that! Two of our friends who are a couple think that they have to say all cute things to each other by leaving scrap on facebook, though they live together. I can’t help thinking that that is showing off.

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Jillybean July 29, 2010 at 11:55 am

Interesting points made by all here. I do think it comes down to a matter of style not etiquette. My fiance and I loathe talking on the phone – to each other! We can happily talk to others, happily chat with each other in person – but get us on the phone together and it’s like, “Uh…how was your day? Um…good how ’bout you?” LOL We’ve been together 2 and 1/2 years we’ve probably had 20 phone conversations. But we happily txt away when we’re not together and I love that little feeling I get when a see a message from him pop up. :-)

We did opt to tell all the VIPs in our lives about our engagement before posting the news on FB, but that’s because I wanted to see the looks on their faces when we did. :-) That was more about me, than anything else.

That said, while, sure the sharing of medical info can sometimes be over the top, I’d argue the fact that it’s all about “me” and not “community” as one poster above thinks. It’s a fair assessment to think that, but at the same time, I like that we have become more open with these issues that impact so many of us, and often times a post on FB leads to the discovery that many others, or people they knew, are going through or have gone through the same battle. It can be an amazing tool for creating community around issues that your immediate family and friends may not have any experience with.

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DGS July 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Certainly, if one has a good relationship with one’s family and one’s intimate group of friends, it is more appropriate to notify those loved ones in person, if possible, or via telephone. I do agree with a previous post that flying across the country to make a pregnancy announcement may be a bit over the top, although it’s hard to judge that not knowing the circumstances around the pregnancy (for instance, for a couple struggling with infertility, making a long-awaited and much-anticipated pregnancy announcement might warrant such a trip).

However, I disagree with those who suggest that social networking sites are always ‘all about me’. As Jillybean had noted, sharing with one’s network of friends may lead to discovering that others have battled similar issues and serve to create community. And for a person struggling with a daily medical treatment, going through phases of grief due to losing a loved one or getting important medical news, it could be incredibly helpful to share with friends and loved ones through a social networking site to get that extra dose of support in response to a “I am having a rough day” or “Good news: Grandmother’s surgery went well”. Of course, just as in every day life, it is inappropriate to discuss one’s digestive trials and tribulations or the details of one’s sex life with others, it is also inappropriate to do so through a social networking site. In general, a good rule for the web seems to be, if I wouldn’t say it out loud, I shouldn’t post it, either.

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mommaknowsbest July 29, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Completely inappropriate to share news like this on the web. I heard my grandma died on facebook. Terrible.

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Louise July 29, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I call friends and family with big news before putting it out there on Facebook. To me, the important people in my life are owed that courtesy. Perhaps the sister doesn’t feel the OP is close enough to her to warrant that personal touch, even if the OP does. Or maybe she was so excited she just couldn’t restrain herself. Regardless, it is her news to share as she likes, and hopefully she understands there might be fallout.

As for the “all about me” aura that surrounds social networking, I don’t have a problem with that. I have a very different work schedule than most of my friends, and sometimes Facebook is the only way I have to keep up with them for weeks. I want their pages to be all about them so I can see what they are up to.

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Elle July 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm

My aunt called on the phone to tell my dad that she had just gotten engaged. Can you believe that? Whatever happened to a personalized letter? The phone is just so . . . . cold and impersonal. Even better she could have come around and told us in person.

It’s not better. It’s not worse. It’s just different.

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Twik July 29, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Elle, would you consider a text, a tweet or a Facebook update suitable for telling one’s family that someone had died? Is it just “different, not worse” for news like that?

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Wendy July 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Well said Elle.

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SHOEGAL July 29, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I have no interest in Facebook or Twitter – and really can’t imagine having something to say about what I’m doing every couple of minutes – I mean, who cares? I’m also too private to want a whole mess of people reading about my life!! If this is becoming more and more acceptable to “tweet” info – or put info about certain things on Facebook then I’ll gladly be left behind. Pretty soon people will tweet a general thanks to all instead of sending out personal notes!!

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Chocobo July 29, 2010 at 4:00 pm

It’s funny this should come up because it was on Mad Men (a show set in the 60s, for those of you who might not know) just last season. The advertisers were trying to figure out how to revive the telegraph message – a short, small message you send to update people on important things — that was at the time dying due to widespread use of the telephone. In the end, the pitch ended up being that you couldn’t keep a telephone call, you just make the call, and then it’s gone forever — no keepsake. Now you can get a short, small message in text again in phones, emails, or other digital-age media, and everyone thinks it’s the degradation of society all over again, but in reverse. Funny how times change!

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Simone July 29, 2010 at 4:12 pm

@Elle A better comparison would be ‘We found out my aunt was engaged via an announcement on the church bulletin board which we may or may not have read’ and I think that would be worse.

In general I guess it depends on the relationship between the OP and her sister. I enjoy facebook but would be really hurt if I found out personal news from my brothers via my news feed. But a personalised message sent or wall post would be fine with me. So I’m seeing the central point here as not the medium, but the lack of personal touch.

We all like to think we are special to the people we love and I can see why the OP felt hurt.

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Dina July 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Thank you, Elle. Exactly what I was going to say.

I find this discussion really interesting as someone who has been using social networking since before the term was coined (LiveJournal, anyone? :) ) I know many of my friends found out about my engagement (and my grandfather’s death) through the Internet. But I’m okay with that, since that’s how we communicate. The people who I know prefer to communicate in other ways found out through telephone calls first. (Then again, I live in Australia, and I’m not about to fly back to the States to share a piece of news with my family…)

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Kriss July 29, 2010 at 6:48 pm

I’m a Gen Y’er, Millennial, whatever you want to call it. I see nothing wrong with sharing the good news across the web. My Grandmother thought the phone was rude, it was best to send a card. Mom said the phone is fine but no internet. I’m sure that there will be some form of communication that pops up in the next few years that makes me cringe. I think they all have a place as long as you follow the old rule of telling close friends and family first before sharing it with the entire world.

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SK July 30, 2010 at 12:23 am

@Twik: I was away on a business trip when my grandfather went into the ICU. My cell phone battery was dying and I could only turn the phone on long enough to receive text messages; a phone call or checking a voicemail was out of the question. So my family *had* to inform me of the situation via text initially.

On a similar level, I spend a lot of my time outside the U.S., and the long-distance phone charges and time zone differences make phone calls rare, and often difficult to arrange. If something comes up unexpectedly, the quickest and most reliable way of contacting my family would be to email them, chat them, or send them a Facebook message. (However, I try to email/contact everyone important individually, and not send out a mass email; the “mass” aspect is what seems rude.)

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Allison July 30, 2010 at 1:46 am

I think it is pointless getting angry at these sorts of things. Its technology, its advancement, its just the way the world is evolving. Its like 100 years ago when cars started coming in, how many people must have been complaining “all these rich folk driving their cars 2 minutes down the road when they could just as easily walk”, OR even more recently with mobile phones etc, I bet countless parents and partners and friends WHINGED about how people texted instead of calling, how rude!!
Getting angry about these sorts of things only brings unnecessary drama into your life, I say just relax, and think to yourself, “Well, its not the way I would have told the family, but congratulations all the same”.
In the eternal words of Bobby McFerrin, Dont worry, be happy.

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kero July 30, 2010 at 4:15 am

Well, it is their information so I think it is okay in how and who they share it with. I may not agree with their private aspects posted on the public forums, but it is their choice on sharing (and I just go to a different webpage to avoid it).

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Ereine July 30, 2010 at 4:54 am

The idea that I should notify my family and friends of good news seem strange to me. Sure, I’ll call my mother and maybe send a text message to my father but my sister will probably find out from my mother, I would feel very weird calling her (but then I’m probably weird for not talking to me sister a lot on the phone, even though we get along well). My friends will probably find out through Facebook or my blog or I’ll them when I see them next. My extended family might never find out, if my parents don’t talk to them. Maybe Facebook seems horribly self-centred but calling everyone close to me expecting that they care so much about my news seems like that as well. That might be a cultural difference, in my country the attitude is very much “who has luck should hide it”.

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Louisa July 30, 2010 at 6:12 am

My friend and her husband were going through a rough patch, but she was mightily bewildered to have friends start to call her and offer condolences on the fact they were splitting up. Turns out he posted that they were separated before he told her he was leaving her- on a website their friends visited. He thought he was secure as his wife wasn’t a member, but after the calls came in she got someone to log in for her so she could see for herself. Thankfully, today, she is with a new and lovely bloke. But that blow was one of the lowest I have heard of in this area.

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Xtina July 30, 2010 at 7:46 am

The problem with announcing news via online social networks is more that it places no “importance” on family or close friends versus the world in general. When you make important announcements on Twitter or Facebook, it’s almost as though you’re saying, for instance, that your mother finding out you’re engaged is no more important to you than some person on your friends list from elementary school that you haven’t spoken to in 25 years.

If you’re that close to every single person on your friends list, then fine—it’s your choice to make your announcements that way, but if you’re like most people, the people you are linked to online are not necessarily your closest tier of friends or relations. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think it’s a insulting not to separately reach out to family or friends with big news first (in whatever method you choose).

That aside, times change. In 50 years, Twitter might be considered as personal as a hand-written letter is today. I am really not a fan of these social networks mainly because some people tell too much or overload everyone with a constant stream of mundane things (proving that there is definitely a need for a new section in the etiquette books for online interaction). However, these online outlets do have relevance and usefulness these days, the main one being that we now have an easy way to locate and keep in touch with everyone from your spouse to long-lost friends. We just shouldn’t forget that the personal touch of a phone call or personal meeting still means a lot to most people.

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Shayna July 30, 2010 at 8:11 am

Personally, without Facebook, there are a lot of people in my life that I am able to keep in contact with far more often than if I were to phone. I live in a different time zone, three hours behind my home province, so it’s not always easy to call. But with Facebook, I know what’s going on in peoples’ lives, and I love it. It’s like we’re still living just a few blocks from one another. I get to stay in touch with my Mom and my brother and his family (who I haven’t seen in almost 6 years now), get updates on my niece and nephew (whom I haven’t even met yet), see photos of them growing and getting involved in new things. I think it’s great. My SIL even told me that she was pregnant in an email because we could never find the time to call because of the time difference and work schedules. I wasn’t upset at that at all.

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Ruth July 30, 2010 at 9:42 am

If it’s your news to share, then share it how you see fit. If it’s good news, then I don’t see anything wrong with “noising it abroad” via Facebook & Twitter (if you want…or keeping it under wraps initially and then letting people know, which is what made you happy). Tweeting with joy is nothing like tweeting about your digestion, it’s just another way to express happiness and share it with people around you.

If it’s bad news, like my mother’s passing earlier this week, then I think it’s appropriate to inform the people who will feel it strongest first and in-person or on the phone. But after we called her family, my dad’s family, and all the friends who she’d been close with/who’d helped take care of her near the end, then we each posted it on Facebook. In that case, I realized Facebook was serving the same role as the newspaper in posting an obituary of sorts. Very few people still read the obits and Facebook has become a tool of personal news in the public square. When her obituary went up, we also linked to that. It turned out to be very handy.

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Jillybean July 30, 2010 at 11:25 am

Ruth – so sorry for your loss. You make a very good point about FB being a good way to send out that info. I have learned about many people passing via FB and it’s been a blessing, because sometimes I know that word simply would not have gotten to me in time to have attended services otherwise. And while I agree that there are certain people that should be notified (particularly for a death) in another fashion, sometimes it’s overwhelming for a person to call dozens of people to announce something personally devastating to them. I have friends and relatives both who have posted a lovely note and/or photo of a loved one with the notice for their passing – serving both as a tribute and a way to get the information to those who may care enough to attend, but not necessarily be close enough to be in the loop.

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TheBardess July 30, 2010 at 12:41 pm

My take-

With something tragic, such as a death, I think it is best to notify those directly involved in as personal a manner as possible. That manner can vary- it might be in person, over the phone, or, yes, through a personal email or Facebook message (as numerous posters have pointed out, sometimes that really is the best/only way to contact someone). The important thing is that it is *personal*- I know I would not want to find out about the death of someone close to me by reading a Facebook status update.

With happy news, however- an engagement, wedding, pregnancy, birth- I am a little more lenient. I still think it’s probably best to tell the people closest to you in person (again, using whatever medium is best to communicate that personal message), but I also understand being so happy and excited that you just can’t wait to share- you want EVERYONE to be the “first to know!” I know that’s certainly how I felt when I got engaged, and both times I found out I was pregnant. In each of those cases, I (in rapid succession, usually all within the span of an hour) called/told in person my and DH’s parents; phoned/emailed a few of my closest friends; posted a Facebook status update for everyone.

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Sensible Shopper July 30, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I’ll grant that FaceBook and Twitter are highly *effective* means of sharing news, but only if your audience read FaceBook and Twitter. What about those of us who are not Twitterfied? As the OP said, it’s lucky she was on Twitter, or she would not have known.

I like the metaphor of posting it on the church bulletin board. How do you know that Aunt Margaret read the bulletin? What if Aunt Margaret was sick that day, and couldn’t make it to church, although she normally reads the bulletin board faithfully? Or maybe she broke her glasses and couldn’t read it that day? And won’t she feel hurt when someone totally unconnected to the family comments on it, while she’s still in the dark?

Some news is important enough that it should be delivered to the specific audience who NEEDS it, and then broadcast for general consumption. This isn’t an issue of modern technology vs. old technology – card vs. letter vs. phone call vs. text. It’s about order. Where do people rank in order of importance in your lives? If they rank high in importance to you, you reinforce that by telling them early. The ones you rank low in importance to you can find out with the masses.

The OP’s sister just ranked her with the masses. That is painful, and it doesn’t matter if it was done through Twitter, FaceBook, a newspaper announcement, or a bulletin board. The demotion still stands.

It’s just as hurtful as knowing you were a “replacement” guest at a wedding. “Well, my A-list people fell through, but I’ve already paid the caterer, and don’t want any empty seats at my wedding, so here’s a recycled invitation.” That’s how the OP feels, and is justified in that feeling. Technology is not the issue.

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kidsis July 30, 2010 at 6:04 pm

As a person who uses social networking sites, micro-blogs and also has a traditional blog (LJ forever!), I see the change in technology as the next phase of communication. I have found uses for all of the different types of technology and I have found that there are people who just aren’t comfortable with the new stuff and the way the world is changing in general. Usually that means someone is going to get offended no matter how I choose to communicate with them.

There are several different reasons and ways I use the new tech. I work in an environment where I cannot receive personal phone calls on my cell most of the time. Since my mother is aware of this, she has been known to send me a text explaining the situation when something important happens (i.e. – a relative or family friend dies) and I usually call her as soon as I can for more details.

I also have some free time at work and am allowed to use our network to surf the web within reason between calls. Part of the company policy is to allow access to social networking sites so that we can help spread the company’s brand. Since spreading the company’s brand is not required, most of us use sites such as Facebook at work to help alleviate boredom. Since I have the chance to be “connected” to others a lot, this is usually how I find out about other people’s announcements. I am not offended if I find out online first that my second cousin is getting married, I am usually not a close enough relation to warrant a phone call to either myself or even my mother.

As far as how I use blogging (and micro-blogging in particular). I find writing to be a cathartic process at times. When I am down and/or struggling with something in particular, I find it helps to write about it. Sometimes I have found others who know what I am going through and their support helps. To some people it may seem like the blogger is focusing only on his or her self, but my observation is that people are talking about what is important to them. I see a lot of people I know from school posting about their kids or their pets. They also post their quirky thoughts; things that are hard to bring up in normal conversations. I use micro-blogging in particular when I’m at an event, like a concert, where there may be a lot of little details that I want to remember later when I write up a full report. I also am a member of several different sites and I take advantage of online tools such as Ping.fm to be able to post to multiple sites at once.

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Simone July 31, 2010 at 5:08 am

@Sensible Shopper – Well put!

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Enna July 31, 2010 at 7:05 am

Most of the time it comes down to what is most pratical and the individual’s choice. Everyone’s situation is different but some things, are best done in person, some by phonecall or FB of Twitter – at the end of the day it is a case-by-case thing not one rule fits all.

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Elle August 1, 2010 at 3:17 pm

@ Twik
Truthfully? I’d be surprised, but not offended. When in bereavement myself I personally am not up for making dozens of phone calls and hearing endless condolences, listening to people’s shock and dismay and trying to console them. I wouldn’t begrudge close family the desire to post the message once and be done with it. And besides that, is it really any more different than an obit in the paper listing when funeral services will be?

@Xtina
I see your point, but I do ask why it is a bad thing for both immediate family and casual friends to know at the same time? Does it make the news less happy? Does it make relationships less important? Traditionally it has only been possible to only let a few people at a time know about your happy news, so there necessarily had to be some kind of prioritization. It made sense to contact your nearest and dearest first. It also led to hurt feelings (“Great Aunt Bertha knew before me, your own sister?” “Well if you’d answered your phone . . .). Now it’s possible to share the joy with everyone who cares about you (even if it was just enough to confirm a friend request) simultaneously
(I understand how you feel about it is just how you feel about it. But for me, personally, its important to find out if it really is an objective bad vs. subjective opinion.)

@Simone
I think the “I might not have seen” issue (whether a bulletin, obit, or tweet) is a red herring. Families always have and always will disseminate and discuss important life announcements.

FWIW I found out about my cousin’s engagement over FB. I was just as happy for her as if she’d called personally.

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etimodnar August 2, 2010 at 5:06 am

While I don’t think it was appropriate for the woman in question to have told everyone on facebook before her own father, I don’t know why everyone is getting their knickers in a twist over using such social media tools.

When announcing my own engagement, I called my parents and the three women I was closest to and are now my BMs. We waiting until FH had told his parents and closest friends, then the most effective way to let everyone know was via facebook. I called my parents as they live a 9hr drive away from me and they would be shocked if I visited them just to tell them news they could have heard over the phone – what a waste of time and money. I honestly find it very weird to send out a letter instead of a phone call. For me, phone calls are much more personal because you can share that excitement together in the moment, whereas a letter or card feels impersonal and distant.

So while I think she was in the wrong for not informing those closest to her personally first, there is nothing wrong about announcing an engagement online.

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Heather August 5, 2010 at 6:19 pm

This past May, my brother had a kidney transplant. I’m in California and he is in New Jersey. Of course I wanted his wife or my mother to call me when he got out of surgery. Oh, I got a call—but I already knew he was out of surgery, since my sister in law had posted it on her Facebook page first. (frown)

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PO'd reader November 5, 2010 at 3:51 am

LOL just this past summer my cousin found a daughter he never knew about on Facebook and after getting a DNA test run and telling his immediate family he announced to the world via Facebook that he had a daughter. We were surprised to say the least but we haven’t officially met her yet but I friended her, comments from time to time on her postings and helped spread the happy news. The people he really wanted to know weren’t Facebook friendly so we spread his happy news and showed our support much to his happiness.

It’s not all bad news is the point behind this post.

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Me January 8, 2011 at 7:19 am

Oh geez. I told my parents in person, then later announced my pregnancy on Facebook. Am I a horrible person because I didn’t fly to visit everyone I knew and tell them in person? Should I have threatened and blackmailed each person so they wouldn’t have the nerve to go tell my other friends and family before I could?

Sometimes I am more horrified by the people writing the letters than I am about the poor etiquette about which they are complaining! I think it’s all the entitlement issues that get annoying.

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