DEAR AMY: My mother has been using Facebook more frequently in the last few months, and I think that’s fine.
Unfortunately, the majority of the pictures that she posts are of me. Her profile and cover photos are of me.
I am not her “friend” on Facebook, but if I look up her name I can see dozens of photos of me all over her page. I really don’t want her plastering my picture everywhere, especially if her privacy settings are weak and anyone has access to the photos.
My personal page is very private, and I only have friends that I actually know on my page.
I have asked her to take down many of the photos, but she refuses (or lies to me and says she did). I told her she could post one picture from my graduation, but instead she posted 20.
I understand that she wants to post pictures for family members to see, but many times she does it just to show off and brag. I don’t feel comfortable when I look up her page on Facebook and all that I can see is my face attached to her name.
Will she ever respect my wishes? Or because she is my parent does she “own” images of me? Am I overreacting? I am legally an adult. What should I do? — Technically Frustrated
DEAR FRUSTRATED: Facebook seems to have created a reverse metric in how generations use it.
Generally speaking, the generation you are a part of, which grew up sharing on social media, seems to have grown much more circumspect about how you conduct yourselves on Facebook, while adults in your mother’s and grandparents’ generation don’t seem to have caught on.
I have seen unintentionally hilarious examples of parents leaping over boundaries on Facebook while their young-adult children comment: “Mom, NO!”
I agree that (at least the way you describe it) this is a deliberate breach of your privacy.
However, realistically you cannot do anything about this, other than avoid your mother’s omniscient camera at family events (by the way, she “owns” all of the photos she takes, even if they are of you).
You should tell her: “Mom, this is an incredible breach of my privacy, and I’ve asked you to stop. This is disrespectful, and you either don’t get it, or you don’t care.”
After that, avoid her lens and stop checking her page.
DEAR AMY: Twelve of us have been close friends for many decades, and we are all in our 60s. We have had a number of divorces within our group (I’m divorced), but most of us have remained friends in spite of this.
Our friend “Jill” moved out of town after leaving her husband, “Jack.” Those of us who live in town see Jack on a regular basis. Recently, Jill invited me for a visit, and I accepted her invitation, as we had been friends for more than 20 years before their divorce.
I then heard through a mutual friend that Jack was upset about this. I asked him if he wanted to talk about it and was disappointed to hear that he finds my plans to be disrespectful of him.
I love them both and certainly don’t want to be insensitive to either one of them. Seriously, this feels a little like a high school scenario. We’re senior citizens!
Am I being insensitive? — Concerned and Conflicted
DEAR CONFLICTED: “Jack” doesn’t get to dictate whom you are friends with, but he has been honest about his feelings and you should acknowledge this by saying: “I understand this has upset you and I’m so sorry. That was not my intent. But I’ve known ‘Jill’ forever and would like to maintain contact with her. Do you think you could grow to accept this?”
DEAR AMY: “Concerned Dad” was worried that his longtime girlfriend would not be welcomed by his ex-wife and adult daughters when she finally moved to town.
You say this girlfriend should be treated as a member of the family.
If so, then why doesn’t he treat her like a member of the family and marry her? —Norma
DEAR NORMA: Marriage would definitely make a statement.