Facebook postings offend anxious aunt
BY AMY DICKINSON
Saturday, February 16, 2013
2/16/13 at 4:33 AM
Dear Amy: I have a niece who is 18. She and I are "friends" on Facebook.
The other day on my news feed, a video she posted of a pornographic nature (nudity and sexual activity involving a male stripper) popped up.
This is not the first time she has posted such things, but it is the worst. Another time she had a conversation with a male friend about "having his baby."
I am concerned for this girl, but not sure how to approach her. We live far away from each other.
Her mother, who I was very close to, died recently. I am not as close to her father.
Do you have any suggestions? I do not want to be "unfriended." - Worried Aunt
Dear Aunt: For now, you should not comment on these posts. You might gain some insight, however, by reading through the comments made by others. Other Facebook "friends" and contemporaries may comment, "Wow - that's a little raw, don't you think?" or question her taste or judgment.
Facebook comments can sometimes lead a person to self-correct. I do not think it's wise for you to comment publicly: "I find this highly offensive. Love you, Auntie" because, given your niece's age and immaturity, she will likely be done with you quite quickly, and you want to keep the door open.
If these posts worry (in addition to offend) you, you could send her a private message on Facebook to say, "Hi, I'm checking in. How are you doing lately?" Keep your own contact benign and open-ended.
You want to learn what she's thinking about - not just what she's posting - and develop enough intimacy with her that you can eventually ask her to reflect on how she's presenting herself online.
Dear Amy: Reading about "Perplexed's" struggles with connecting with her grandmother with Alzheimer's reminded me of my father.
As a child, I frequently played checkers with my dad. Much later, when he was deep into the forest of memory loss, I pulled out a checkers board and placed it between us. He made the first move, using several checkers at one time. I followed his lead and soon we were creating lyrical patterns on the board. It was a new game, new rules and a new way of connecting.
That simple moment of reimagined communication is one of my favorite memories of my father. - Out of the Box
Dear Out: This is beautiful. Thank you!
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