Proper Facebook Etiquette

#1954 a nosy old bag

Sunday 17th April, 2011

Dear Mariann,

I have had to completely change my Facebook account after my boyfriend’s mother started to harass me. I’d like to send to her a message to tell me why she is such a nosy old bag and for her to have to explain to me her exact reasoning behind being such a deranged idiot. You are an expert in etiquette and I would like to know what you would advise?

From Violet via Facebook – touche’.

I’m just so happy to have received your query Violet. Flattery will get you words and a smile and hopefully sanctuary from a cantankerous personage in the form of this reply. It does sound as though you are losing your grip on reality though – if said boyfriend’s mother is such a toad, why re-organise your life around her.  Surely to picture her – as charmless as she is – running into a ditch full of mud and firing wet sponges at her repulsive form is enough for anyone.

Reading between the lines, this is about your need to get beneath what makes this toad leap and her various perils of personal boundaries – of which clearly, she has none.

If we turn to the Centre for par excellent and Etiquette over at Debrett‘s, there is an mine-field of possible foibles and discontent. Self-disclosure and ‘harassment’ being two such bed-fellows.  Indispensable is perhaps what you should have done in the first instance – DO NOT FRIEND POTENTIAL MOTHER’S-IN-LAW ON FACEBOOK. But, too late for you is this gem of advice.

Decoding her behaviour is as simple as a Poke and incandescence status update. It is thus, she feels threatened and outside of your cosy relationship with her son. No doubt you are up to all kinds of things and all kinds of hours.  What you require is some self-reflexive decency in order to process her un-socially desirable behaviour. I find this goes most swimmingly after at least two gin and tonics on a sun soaked afternoon.

Then you may commence a handwritten (not via Facebook) message as thus;

Dear Toad insert Mother’s name here,

I have been overwhelmed by your generosity of communication. I wonder though if you would mind retreating at a distance so that your son and I do not have to articulate stock phrases to put you off coming around and harassing us. It is just delightful that you want to be friends on Facebook, and I am sure that you, as a refined and experienced woman yourself, understand that being so close can mistakenly put us all in each others pockets. You do not want to know what went on last night, equally I do not want to see the full extent of your latest photo-tagging. Perhaps we can come to some compromise. I will remain friends on Facebook, if you will stop poking on the interweb. If you do not desist, I will have no hesitation in tagging and announcing key relationship markers only through Facebook and depositing a large amount of SPAM into your inbox.

Yours, blah blah blah…

And there you have it. Rather than saying anything the mere threat of Facebook altercations should encourage her to behave in a more appropriate and at-a-distance manner.

Discretion is the key. Then a de/unfriend is the end.

5 Responses to “#1954 a nosy old bag”

  1. blog says:

    Let the dog bark so he don’t bite me.

  2. Man O Man says:

    Mariann, things came to an end in my last relationship. He has since seen fit to post all about our end of days all over Facebook, but wait it doesn’t stop there, there’s news all over the web! What do I do?

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  5. rosey says:

    I’ve a hard time with Facebook. How do I get myself out there?

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