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Amy Dickinson | Syndicated columnist

Dear Amy: I have been active on Facebook for several years.

I generally use FB to keep in touch with friends I don’t get to see often. I don’t get too personal.

My husband has recently become much more active on Facebook. After leaving a corporate job last year and going into business for himself, I think he is feeling free to express his opinions and “be himself.”

This has included trolling friends’ political posts and calling strangers out — and not always in a nice way.

While I agree with most of his political views, I think he comes off as a total jerk.

He has also made some raunchy and inappropriate comments. I have called him out online and in person (“dude, everybody is reading this stuff!”), but he insists that he doesn’t care. He says, “It was a joke. It’s just Facebook,” but it all makes me really uncomfortable.

I don’t want him to stop being himself; I just wish he would tone it down and consider how public his comments are.

I know that “unfriending” him will only stir the pot, and not fix anything.

I’ve always appreciated his outspoken manner, until now. How do I make him understand how this affects me? — Upset Wife

Dear Upset: Your husband either doesn’t realize or doesn’t care that his behavior on Facebook can damage his relationships and his reputation. Saying, “It’s only Facebook” is discounting the megaphone’s role in a person’s offensive broadcasts. It is extremely naive not to realize the power of this public bulletin board, where posts, comments, photos and memes can follow you around forever. If your husband’s business relies on keeping clients happy, or getting new business, his rudeness on FB will affect his bottom line.

Perhaps he was repressing this before, but now he is choosing to show you — and the rest of the world — who he is.

If I were you, I would definitely “unfriend” or hide his posts on FB. Then he would be faced with the public consequences of his behavior, and you would be spared the temptation to correct him.

If your husband wants to be married to someone who respects him, he should clean up his act.

Dear Amy: I’m sorry you are getting so much backlash about your ridiculous stance about “cultural appropriation” on Halloween, but it’s time for reason and logic to make a comeback. I’m not Mexican, but if I want to wear a mariachi costume to work on Halloween, then I should!

— Disturbed

Dear Disturbed: Um no, you shouldn’t. One thing I’ve learned is that there are a lot of overgrown children out there who want to take this kids’ holiday to the office.

Dear Amy: Our mother recently died. Years ago, when Dad died, there was no acknowledgment from friends or relatives. With the passing of our mother, compassion went out the window. Some people responded with true sorrow, but for the most part I feel the rest of the condolences were from people guilted into it.

When these people had loss in their lives, we sent cards to all immediate family members. Through the grapevine, I heard that their lives were so filled with other family matters — including health problems — that they couldn’t respond to Mom’s death. These are adults. Some are blood relatives.

What is wrong with these people? The way I feel right now is when a future loss occurs for them, I will send a blank postcard saying, “Sorry for your loss. This is more than I got from you.”

— Disappointed

Dear Disappointed: I would encourage patience; you lost your mom and you miss her. Of course you want this loss acknowledged. But you seem bitter about almost all of the condolences you’ve received.

You don’t get to determine which responses are genuine and which are a result of being “guilted.” Many people won’t send a card if they have also attended calling hours or a memorial service, or have spoken to you personally.

People approach loss differently; you react with kindness, but some people shut down. They don’t know what to say, and so they make the mistake of not saying anything.

I hope you can deal with your grief in a constructive way; avoid keeping score and most importantly, don’t let this change how you react to other people’s loss. Sending a sarcastic note of condolence is wrong. A single moment of smug satisfaction would soon be eclipsed by frantic clawing at the letterbox to try and get your note back.

Amy Dickinson can be reached at askamy@amydickinson.com. Readers also may send mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, LLC., 16650 Westgrove Dr., Suite 175, Addison, TX 75001.

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(2) comments

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