Author Topic: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.  (Read 9439 times)

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lurkerwisp

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Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« on: August 13, 2012, 01:34:58 PM »
My mom has been Facebook friends with me since I graduated college, and hasn't really caused much drama there in all that time since my Facebook is extremely sanitized.  But my mom is also very um... crazy.  Most of the time everything's okay with her and nothing's wrong and she's as friendly as can be.  Until, that is, she flips and goes on a screaming rant over the phone or chews me out in person over some tiny imagined slight.

To make things make sense, I'd told her about an event I was very excited to be going to on Saturday for weeks and weeks.  She then told me Friday that I was expected to feed her cats and the bird over the weekend.  My event ended up being canceled due to rain so I went early to feed the cats/bird and found her still at home, having not even left yet.  We chatted and I helped her put things in the car a bit and left on friendly terms.

So that's the backstory there.  This is a question about how to manage things with her on Facebook.

Later that same day I'd posted that I was disappointed that my event was rained out, asking if any of my friends had ideas for what to do instead.

Mom responds with just "feed the critters."

So I replied that if I spent the whole day doing that then the fat cat would finally be wider than she is long.  It was intended as a joke, and since she's the one who makes fun of the cat's blubber the most I thought she'd just find it funny and move on.  She didn't.

Instead, the next day Mom went on a very long rant about how I'm a bad person for making snippy replies on Facebook and how I'm a bad person for not calling her when she's not feeling well and it just kept going and going.  This was right there in public on my Facebook wall.

This was after she'd called and talked to me on the phone thanking me for taking care of the animals while she was gone and gushing over how much she liked the stuffed toy I'd knit for her to give to a new baby in the family that I'd left on the kitchen counter for her to find.  She went from super friendly to super crazy publicly angry in about two hours.

I deleted all of her comments instead of replying.

Is there some E-Hell approved way for me to respond to this kind of thing in the future so I can at least let her know that her rants on Facebook are public?  My Facebook page is set to pretty absurdly high privacy settings, so it's not completely public in that the whole world can't see it, but her siblings are all friends with me as is my sister.

My sister is refusing to friend Mom and Mom keeps begging to be her Facebook friend.  I'd really love to have left her rant up there and just told her that publicly scolding her oldest is why her youngest isn't granting the same access.  I don't post anything that I wouldn't want family to see, so I'm not concerned with what she sees on my page.  I just don't like that she commented like that.  Should I go the way of the younger, possibly smarter, sibling and just un-friend my mom to avoid this problem?

Thanks in advance for any advice. :)

Dorrie78

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 01:40:28 PM »
I think you did exactly the right thing. Doesn't your mom understand that everything she posts on your page can be seen by all of your friends (within your personal privacy settings)? If she is on FB, I would assume she understands that because she can see what other people have posted on your page or her other friends' pages, etc. I wouldn't try to educate her on this because she probably already knows it. Just continue to delete comments as necessary. If she asks about it later, you can say that you deleted her comment because you didn't think it was appropriate to have an argument in public.

Every now and then someone comments on one of my posts in a way that I find unacceptable. I just quietly delete it and move on.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 02:07:55 PM »
I think your best bet is to defriend.  But you could have responded "Mom you do realize our family and friends can see your posts complaining about your daughter who is doing you a favor of taking care of your animals?"

Kaypeep

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 03:00:07 PM »
Unfriend her.  If she asks about it tell her that you don't appreciate her scolding and lectures on your FB wall so that's why you unfriended her.  You may even want to PM her and let her know anyway, don't wait for her to ask first.  Then, if she starts ranting in person about this or other things, you can tell her "You know mom, I love you but your arguments and nitpicking are out of line and unreasonable.  This is why I had to unfriend you on Facebook, and if you keep it up in real life you'll be seeing and hearing from me even less here, too.  I don't appreciate being treated like this. I'm an adult.  If you can't have a reasonable conversation and want to yell or snap at me, don't expect me to put up with it.  Treat me like an adult and speak to me in a reasonable manner, or else we won't speak at all."

MrTango

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 04:27:07 PM »
The easy way: Defriend and block.

The slightly less easy but more diplomatic way: Put her in your "restricted" list - She will only be able to see posts that you make public.  Also, you can block her ability to write on your wall.

BC12

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 02:07:13 AM »
Should I go the way of the younger, possibly smarter, sibling and just un-friend my mom to avoid this problem?

Yes.

You could just keep deleting things or putting heavier restrictions on what she can view and comment on, but that doesn't tackle the real issue of your mom not respecting you or your boundaries by chewing you out, screaming, making a spectacle, or guilt-tripping you. This Facebook thing could be a good opportunity for you to raise these issues and to put your foot down and say, "Mom, I will not accept you treating me like this anymore."

If you would rather deal with the situation in a less extreme way, that's completely understandable. You could try saying, "Mom, I was very embarrassed that you posted those things on my Facebook wall where others could read them. If you have an issue with me, please see me or call me on the phone so we can discuss it like adults. Please do not use Facebook to air your grievances against me ever again."
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 02:08:52 AM by BC12 »

LEMon

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 12:56:56 AM »
I have to admit if I had a choice of a phone rant or a fb rant, I would pick the fb rant.  I'm not as involved, and it allows me to not respond.  So that is something to consider before blocking her.

I would also consider if letting her feel the responses to her rant would help her, or perhaps just help you.   Though a part of me balances that with the feeling etiquette would say, 'don't involve others in your arguments' and that 'it is rude to put others in the uncomfortable position of seeing that'.  My bratty brain responds, 'but she is the one doing it.'  But I know if I left it up, I would be a part of them being involved.

amylouky

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 10:48:11 AM »
I'd defriend her, and tell her we'll try again when she's a little better at FB etiquette, including not airing personal arguments in public for all to see.
I'm also a little  :o at the fact that you've graduated college, no longer live at home, but your mom still gets to tell you that you are going to feed her cats, rather than asking for it as a favor, with advance notice.

lurkerwisp

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2012, 01:05:40 PM »
I'd defriend her, and tell her we'll try again when she's a little better at FB etiquette, including not airing personal arguments in public for all to see.
I'm also a little  :o at the fact that you've graduated college, no longer live at home, but your mom still gets to tell you that you are going to feed her cats, rather than asking for it as a favor, with advance notice.

That last bit is a huge sore spot with me and DH.  He says I should put my foot down and refuse to give in to demands like this.  I agree with him, but at the same time one of those cats is sort of (not technically) my cat that will never be able to live with us.  I'm doing this mainly out of loyalty to my old buddy, the blubberkitty, and also so that Mom will come take care of our kitty (who has health issues and is more work than hers) when we go on our yearly pilgrimage to visit DH's parents and attend an arts convention for me to work at the end of this month.

I've tried telling her that she needs to ask instead of demand when it comes to things that effect my schedule, but it never works.  The second I try, "I'm afraid that won't be possible," she breaks out her world-class guilt tripping skills.  I end up always giving in because the alternative is too terrifying.

It seems the only way we'll ever escape her control is to move very far away after DH finishes PA school.  I don't want to give up my awesome job just because it's too near to her neighborhood, but it seems inevitable.

Oh, and as an update:  She's now the only person on my restricted list, and all my default privacy settings exclude her.  So she won't be able to know she's been un-friended and throw an angry fit, but she also won't be able to see or comment on anything anymore.  There doesn't seem to be a way to let someone see posts but not comment on them.  The only problem is that she's excluded from everything that isn't public, and even my name isn't public.  So I guess I'll have to wait and see if that's an issue. :/

I don't have any of these problems with Dad, but he doesn't use Facebook very much, and has always asked instead of demanded.

Roe

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2012, 02:22:08 PM »
Quick question, can "restricted" friends still write on your wall? 

lurkerwisp

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2012, 02:38:02 PM »
Quick question, can "restricted" friends still write on your wall?

Not if you set your wall settings to exclude them from being able to.

NotTheNarcissist

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2012, 05:48:44 PM »
I would unfriend her. She'll live. I recently had to unfriend a family member due to her rants & slamming other family members. Plus she was flat out lying.

Not sure if this is much comfort but it's likely most people who truly know your mom realize its just another rant & blow her off. It's just a guess ....but I suspect you would not need to explain to them the *why* behind your choice to unfriend her.

Roe

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 02:15:09 PM »
Quick question, can "restricted" friends still write on your wall?

Not if you set your wall settings to exclude them from being able to.

How would you check your settings?

Sterling

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 05:31:02 PM »
Sorry that behavior would result in defriending and blocking.  It is bad enough having to listen to that stuff on the phone or in person but the humiliation of having even one person see it on my wall would be too much for me.
93 93/93

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: Need advice on how to handle Mom on Facebook.
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 11:36:41 PM »
I would defriend her and say, "Sorry mom, but you're putting stuff that's private and TMI for people on my Facebook page. We can keep in touch in other ways." I also would stop feeding het cats. She's being pushy, entitled, demanding, and annoying about it and should find someone else.