Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Techno-quette => Topic started by: alis on July 05, 2013, 05:59:05 AM

Title: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: alis on July 05, 2013, 05:59:05 AM
I belong to a local mom's group which has a Facebook page.

A woman's husband carpooled back with friends and was several hours late (without his phone) when she posted on her group that she was worried and if she should contact hospitals and what to do (she thought she had to wait 24 hours to call police).

She got a response from one... "hehe! Enjoy the free night to yourselff!!! (sic)"

Is it just me or is that incredibly rude? Even if someone is over-reacting (which is debatable but not the point), I felt bad for her to be minimized for that.

(He was trapped in construction)
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on July 05, 2013, 07:22:40 AM
That does seem to be trivializing it.  I think a better response might have been a gentle "He's probably stuck in traffic or got held up somewhere.  Watch a movie you wouldn't normally get to enjoy with him, indulge in a guilty pleasure while you wait!"
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Twik on July 05, 2013, 08:29:58 AM
I would never trivialize anyone's worry over a loved one being several hours late. The message was extremely insensitive.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Ceallach on July 05, 2013, 08:35:03 AM
I don't think it's incredibly rude, no.    Definitely insensitive and possibly misreading the situation though.    I wonder if the woman's post to her came across more as "oh no hubby's not back yet, shall I send out a search party haha" type concern rather than legitimate fear.    I mean personally I'd assume traffic or similar if my husband were late, I wouldn't think it were a police worthy situation.   But that's just me. 

If the woman was genuinely concerned then I think trivializing her concerns instead of reassuring her gently was insensitive and a little unkind, but I don't know if it was really rude in this context.  It's not as if she was laughing at a serious emergency such as "your husbands in the hospital? Great you eg a night off! Yay!"   I think it was a badly written attempt at cheerful humor that obviously fell flat.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Twik on July 05, 2013, 08:43:51 AM
Ceallach, if you can stand having a loved one being missing for several hours, and not contactable, without imagining a million different horror situations - well, I'd love to have your steady nerves, because I can't make myself do that! My mind will insist on making me miserable with all sorts of terrors.

If we assume "several hours" is three or more (say, he was supposed to be home at 6, and it's now 9 pm), this would sound like more than traffic to me. And the prevalence of cellphones these days makes being out of contact even worse, because we're so used to being able to check on our loved ones whenever we want. Yes, there are plenty of scenarios that could cause someone to be this late that do not involve death or mayhem - but also a number which do. I think mocking someone who is really worried about a situation like this is cruel, and therefore rude. Giving reassurance that all is likely well is one thing - treating it like a big joke is another.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Winterlight on July 05, 2013, 09:01:45 AM
I think it's insensitive.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Ceallach on July 05, 2013, 09:04:20 AM
Ceallach, if you can stand having a loved one being missing for several hours, and not contactable, without imagining a million different horror situations - well, I'd love to have your steady nerves, because I can't make myself do that! My mind will insist on making me miserable with all sorts of terrors.

If we assume "several hours" is three or more (say, he was supposed to be home at 6, and it's now 9 pm), this would sound like more than traffic to me. And the prevalence of cellphones these days makes being out of contact even worse, because we're so used to being able to check on our loved ones whenever we want. Yes, there are plenty of scenarios that could cause someone to be this late that do not involve death or mayhem - but also a number which do. I think mocking someone who is really worried about a situation like this is cruel, and therefore rude. Giving reassurance that all is likely well is one thing - treating it like a big joke is another.

I'm not going to lie, I do imagine the worst, but I force myself to see logic and reason and acknowledge that those fears are irrational.  And try to distract myself.

My DH used to bicycle 40 kilometers each way for a weekend hobby, on roads through a major city, returning after dark.  There were definitely occasions where I wondered if he was in a ditch somewhere when he was delayed.  Sometimes dealing with a puncture in the pouring rain he just wasn't able to call and he couldn't hear the phone if I tried to call once he was riding.   

I'm not suggesting that the original lady wasn't entitled to her feelings, just that the second lady quite possibly misread the tone (easy to do online) or was attempting to be reassuring and failing miserably.   I think her comment was truly idiotic, both in content AND in execution, but not incredibly rude. 
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Ceallach on July 05, 2013, 09:18:46 AM
Ok I just realized its perceived as rude because its mocking... If that's the case I do agree!  I was seeing it more as some silly flippant comment about having a hubby-break from a lady who can't spell.  But if she is seeing a lady in distress and mocking her for having to hang out alone whilst anxiously stressing about where her husband is? Then yes, that would be incredibly rude.  I think my scenario is more likely just because my own experience with mommy boards is that they're very self centred.  If one mom posts that her baby is suddenly eating every hour, at least one other will be all "I wish I could get Sally to eat that often! We have to practically force her right now!!"   And vice versa.    So I could totally see Mom #1 anxious over husband being delayed and Mom #2 thinking "A night off from hubby? Awesome! I wish my husband wasn't home....".   Hence I was thinking self-centred flippancy, not deliberate mocking.   (I dislike both, for the record!)
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: NyaChan on July 05, 2013, 09:29:05 AM
Maybe I'm just used to it because my dad has a tendency to go to lunch and not come back for 4 hours (lunch turns into, "hmm I wonder if there are any new products at the home improvement store. Let's go aisle by aisle and look!" but while I wouldn't have been as alarmed as the woman was, I wouldn't have posted that message.  I have a feeling that the poster was probably going for "Well, don't worry too much yet since it is only a few hours.  In the meantime, enjoy having some free time" but did not realize that there really could have been something wrong.  If a couple is used to more contact, than yes it could be worrisome for someone to suddenly go radio silent.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Slartibartfast on July 05, 2013, 10:22:51 AM
One of my close friends only found out her husband was in the ICU because he didn't show up and she had to start calling hospitals.  (He was in a coma for several months and still has significant brain injury - motorcycle accident.)  I wouldn't find that "joke" funny at all.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: guihong on July 05, 2013, 10:31:56 AM
My husband didn't show up from work after his midnight shift last year.  He was nearly killed in an accident and had been airlifted to the hospital.  I had called work, and they said he left as usual.  Then the hospital called me.  So before the accident I might have found it funny, not anymore.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: EllenS on July 05, 2013, 10:40:19 AM
See, i had a completely different read on this situation.  Depending on the relationship of the moms, and what kind of venting they may do about their husbands...the original anxious post might have been misinterpreted as a PA way of complaining about the husband going off with his friends for an unscheduled diversion at a club/bar, whatever.

FB just lends itself to all kinds of misinterpretion, and if the anxious poster was offended, she should address it privately and directly with the flippant replyer.  I am learning as I get older that flippancy is just never a good idea.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Harriet Jones on July 05, 2013, 10:54:43 AM
That's a pretty thoughtless comment.  I'm hoping it was just that the commenter misread the tone of the original post.

Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Sharnita on July 05, 2013, 11:47:30 AM
It seems like an ill-advised remark to me.  That being said, I think personal experience probably has a lot to do with the lens we see the comment through.  Know a friend or family member who is commonly 4 hours late - it might not seem that insensitive. Live in an area where traffic might make you 3 or even 4 hours late - again, the comment seems cheerfully encouraging or lighthearted.  If you live in an area where somebody could freeze  to death in 3 or 4 hours if the slid off the road or if you know somebody who has had a late night call to tell them a loved one has been killed driving home - the comment seems callous and cruel. 

It is even possible that as worried as the woman was she knew the personal context the friend was speaking from and was not hurt. Or maybe it severely damaged or even completely destroyed their friendship. 
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Surianne on July 05, 2013, 12:36:26 PM
I don't think it's incredibly rude, no.    Definitely insensitive and possibly misreading the situation though.    I wonder if the woman's post to her came across more as "oh no hubby's not back yet, shall I send out a search party haha" type concern rather than legitimate fear.    I mean personally I'd assume traffic or similar if my husband were late, I wouldn't think it were a police worthy situation.   But that's just me. 

Yeah, my feeling here is that the person didn't realize the post was serious, and was trying to joke back.  I wouldn't jump straight to assuming the poster was being mocking, especially because I don't usually see my friends posting about serious fears on Facebook; normally we use it for goofing around.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: alis on July 05, 2013, 12:38:48 PM
I agree, I don't think she was mocking, I think she just didn't realize how upset the Facebook OP was. I thought it was rather clear as she stated she was quite worried and asked if she should start calling hospitals and how he's never done this before...

Foot-in-mouth disease, I suppose. Not the first time I've read cringe-worthy advice from her so I think it's just a matter of perception, not ill-intended.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Mrs. Tilney on July 05, 2013, 02:31:34 PM
Not long ago, my brother-in-law posted a comment on FB about not being able to find my sister and their kids. It was the middle of the afternoon, and I had gotten a text from my sister earlier with a picture of the kids and some cookies they had all made with cookie cutters I had sent, and I replied with a comment like, "But when you find them, there will be cookies!" (It turns out they were at a neighbor's house and my sister had left her phone off.) (And my BIL did get cookies at the end of it.) I hope I didn't come off as insensitive; I certainly wasn't trying to be. I understand that this CAN mean that something tragic has happened and that people certainly worry; however, most of the time, it's nothing.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: siamesecat2965 on July 05, 2013, 02:32:58 PM
One of my close friends only found out her husband was in the ICU because he didn't show up and she had to start calling hospitals.  (He was in a coma for several months and still has significant brain injury - motorcycle accident.)  I wouldn't find that "joke" funny at all.

Something similar happened to a grad school classmate, who had just recently gotten married. I don't recall the details, but he had a motorcycle accident, and head and other injuries, and due to confusion over his name/her name, and other factors, it was quite some time before they were able to identify him and find her.

So i think its rude. While I might think to myself, oh, she's totally overreacting, etc. I'd never ever say or post anything publicly.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Amava on July 05, 2013, 02:46:51 PM
At first I thought "super rude". Then I read some other posters' perspective and maybe it wasn't meant as badly as it came out...

I think I will call it a "foot in keyboard moment".
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Yvaine on July 05, 2013, 02:48:06 PM
I agree, I don't think she was mocking, I think she just didn't realize how upset the Facebook OP was. I thought it was rather clear as she stated she was quite worried and asked if she should start calling hospitals and how he's never done this before...

She may have thought it was hyperbole. Kind of like Ceallach suggested:

I wonder if the woman's post to her came across more as "oh no hubby's not back yet, shall I send out a search party haha" type concern rather than legitimate fear. 

Or like when I say something like "I'm going to Barnes and Noble. If I'm not back in 3 hours, send rescue dogs."
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Surianne on July 05, 2013, 05:42:55 PM
I agree, I don't think she was mocking, I think she just didn't realize how upset the Facebook OP was. I thought it was rather clear as she stated she was quite worried and asked if she should start calling hospitals and how he's never done this before...

She may have thought it was hyperbole. Kind of like Ceallach suggested:

I wonder if the woman's post to her came across more as "oh no hubby's not back yet, shall I send out a search party haha" type concern rather than legitimate fear. 

Or like when I say something like "I'm going to Barnes and Noble. If I'm not back in 3 hours, send rescue dogs."

Yes, exactly.  I say (and see) this sort of thing on Facebook rather frequently. 
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: AngelBarchild on July 06, 2013, 05:48:35 AM
My husband was almost two hours late coming home just last week. He got held up at work and didn't have a chance to call. Everything was fine.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Twik on July 06, 2013, 09:19:49 AM
Well yes, most of the time, everything is fine. But there is always a small chance that things are not fine.

I wonder how the poster would feel about her post if it turned out there had been a tragedy?
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: veronaz on July 06, 2013, 09:40:57 AM
While it may have been insensitive, if a person is really worried about someone's well-being they need to get off the computer and start making inquiries on the phone.  Going on Facebook asking "what should I do?" seems strange.  If faced with the possibility of a serious situation, FB isn't the place to run to, imo.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: MariaE on July 06, 2013, 03:29:38 PM
While it may have been insensitive, if a person is really worried about someone's well-being they need to get off the computer and start making inquiries on the phone.  Going on Facebook asking "what should I do?" seems strange.  If faced with the possibility of a serious situation, FB isn't the place to run to, imo.

I could see myself using facebook as a barometer. I have OCD and know I tend to overreact when it comes to worst case scenarios. Posting a comment like that would be a way of asking friends "is this as off as I think it is? do I really have cause for worry, or is it just my wcs mentality acting up again?"
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Twik on July 06, 2013, 08:06:40 PM
I think one of the most comforting things in an emergency (or what might become an emergency) is someone to discuss the problem with. If the only people available are on Facebook, then you use them.

I'm sure the person in the op didn't mean to be dismissive, but it sounds like they completely missed the "I'm getting scared, what should I do?" Vibe.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: miranova on July 07, 2013, 04:22:16 PM
I think it was insensitive and dismissive.  I'll stop short of calling it rude, but I don't personally think I'd be close friends with someone who had that reaction.

It could be that her worry was an overreaction, but even if so the course to take if you care about the worried person is to be reassuring, not dismissive.

It reminds me of the very few times that I've said on FB that I miss my children (I have joint custody with their dad).  If I'm feeling down enough to actually post how much I miss them, I'm really having a bad time.  Inevitably, someone will come along and say how much they wish they had a break from their own children.  It just comes across as extremely insensitive and uncaring.  I know we all need an occasional break from our children but when I'm missing them so much it hurts, that is not the time to imply that I'm just lucky to have the time alone.  Timing, people.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: immadz on July 09, 2013, 12:04:41 PM
I would have found her comment reassuring.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: LifeOnPluto on July 09, 2013, 10:25:21 PM
I think it was insensitive and dismissive.  I'll stop short of calling it rude, but I don't personally think I'd be close friends with someone who had that reaction.

It could be that her worry was an overreaction, but even if so the course to take if you care about the worried person is to be reassuring, not dismissive.

It reminds me of the very few times that I've said on FB that I miss my children (I have joint custody with their dad).  If I'm feeling down enough to actually post how much I miss them, I'm really having a bad time.  Inevitably, someone will come along and say how much they wish they had a break from their own children.  It just comes across as extremely insensitive and uncaring.  I know we all need an occasional break from our children but when I'm missing them so much it hurts, that is not the time to imply that I'm just lucky to have the time alone.  Timing, people.

Exactly. It's like a married person telling their single friend (who'd love to have a partner): "Oh, lucky you. I wish I was single!" It comes off as uncaring, flippant, and definitely not reassuring.

So I do think the comment the second woman made in the OP was silly and insensitive.

Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: Allyson on July 10, 2013, 02:23:25 PM
I doubt it was meant mockingly or badly. It was probably a misreading of tone, which can happen a lot on the internet.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: TurtleDove on July 10, 2013, 03:35:27 PM
While it may have been insensitive, if a person is really worried about someone's well-being they need to get off the computer and start making inquiries on the phone.  Going on Facebook asking "what should I do?" seems strange.  If faced with the possibility of a serious situation, FB isn't the place to run to, imo.

I could see myself using facebook as a barometer. I have OCD and know I tend to overreact when it comes to worst case scenarios. Posting a comment like that would be a way of asking friends "is this as off as I think it is? do I really have cause for worry, or is it just my wcs mentality acting up again?"

I think here the barometer is that, at least for some people, the situation was no cause for alarm.  I don't have a problem with the comment and I would be shocked if the commenter meant anything negative by it. 
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: DottyG on July 10, 2013, 04:23:29 PM
I doubt it was meant mockingly or badly. It was probably a misreading of tone, which can happen a lot on the internet.

Which is why it's often best to err on the side of caution when making such a comment to begin with.

Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: MariaE on July 10, 2013, 05:44:14 PM
While it may have been insensitive, if a person is really worried about someone's well-being they need to get off the computer and start making inquiries on the phone.  Going on Facebook asking "what should I do?" seems strange.  If faced with the possibility of a serious situation, FB isn't the place to run to, imo.

I could see myself using facebook as a barometer. I have OCD and know I tend to overreact when it comes to worst case scenarios. Posting a comment like that would be a way of asking friends "is this as off as I think it is? do I really have cause for worry, or is it just my wcs mentality acting up again?"

I think here the barometer is that, at least for some people, the situation was no cause for alarm.  I don't have a problem with the comment and I would be shocked if the commenter meant anything negative by it.

My comment was in reply to veronaz' "Going on Facebook asking "what should I do?" seems strange.  If faced with the possibility of a serious situation, FB isn't the place to run to, imo." as an example of why I don't find it strange at all.
Title: Re: You are scared? Ha ha! Facebook.
Post by: DottyG on July 10, 2013, 05:55:14 PM
While it may have been insensitive, if a person is really worried about someone's well-being they need to get off the computer and start making inquiries on the phone.  Going on Facebook asking "what should I do?" seems strange.  If faced with the possibility of a serious situation, FB isn't the place to run to, imo.

I could see myself using facebook as a barometer. I have OCD and know I tend to overreact when it comes to worst case scenarios. Posting a comment like that would be a way of asking friends "is this as off as I think it is? do I really have cause for worry, or is it just my wcs mentality acting up again?"

Maria, I'm like you in that.  Sometimes, I need that barometer as well.