Dear Annie: Over the years, I have made several major moves around the country and have found that my Facebook account is a great way to keep in touch. However, my dear mother does not seem to understand Facebook etiquette. She comments on my page as if each change were directed specifically to her.
If a friend posts a message that is clearly meant for me, Mom will respond before I have a chance to.
My friends have stopped leaving me comments because they know they will end up having a conversation with my mother.
She has even managed to insult a few of them when she disagreed with things they posted on their own pages. She does the same thing to my siblings.
I live out of state, but I call Mom every week and instant-message her most days, as well. It’s not as if she isn’t up-to-date on my life.
I don’t know how to fix this, though, because her feelings are easily hurt. — J.C. in Wisconsin
Dear J.C.: Your mom thinks she is ever so cool because she communicates with your generation through something as contemporary as Facebook.
It might help to tell her why her behavior has the opposite effect. Then gently explain the best way to use Facebook so her comments are welcome.
We’d hate to have you “unfriend” Mom. A spokesperson at Facebook said it is possible to set your preferences so that Mom is prevented from seeing specific things.
You also can “hide” your wall so no comments are visible to others and make yourself available only through personal mail.
Dear Annie: As a board-certified behavior analyst and the wife of a chronic “door left open” husband, I have an alternate suggestion for “Help,” whose hubby leaves cabinets ajar:
Catch him actually closing a door, and as soon as he does (within five seconds), give him a really sexy kiss.
The next time he closes something, reward him in a similar fashion. Keep this up, and I guarantee results.
More effective than nagging? Yes. She should try it. They may both like it. — BCBA from Connecticut
Dear BCBA: Thanks. Of course, it presupposes that you can actually catch him closing a door.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.