Short Answers: Too much info on social media


Dear Short Answers >> What do you think of this trend for massive "over-sharing" on social media like Facebook? People talk about the most personal things in their lives. I try to ignore them, but I find that the next time I run into such a person at the store or at a party, they expect me to know they are getting a divorce, their dog died or they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Aren't some things best shared (and discussed) on an individual face-to-face basis?

— Voting for real time conversation

DEAR VOTING >> We don't judge — at least not about this. Many folks find it easier to announce news this way because it avoids potentially emotional personal exchanges.

Moral relativism

Dear Short Answers >> Recently I was with a friend who accidentally hit another car in a parking lot. From the sound of it, it wasn't trivial. I was quite shocked that he drove away without checking the damage or leaving a note. I told my friend it didn't seem right to me. He said something like the other guy's insurance would pay. What do you think?

— Feeling uncomfortable

DEAR FEELING >> We felt uncomfortable just hearing about it — because we have done the same thing — not often, not always, but it has happened. Inevitably, we tell ourselves a story that makes us feel better about what is clearly wrong. Thanks for reminding us — hit and run is hit and run, and its bad news even if no one sees.

Dear Short Answers >> My brother is visiting my parents. My Dad has Alzheimer's and my Mom is working very hard to take care of him. She is 84 and he is 89. My Mom called me and she was sad and hurt because she had offered to put some of my brother's clothes in the washing machine. He said that he wanted his own load, and for his clothes not to get mixed up with Dad's "poop." My Dad does wear diapers, but they are always tossed. My Mom is very hygienic. I feel so bad for my Mom. I think my brother was a real jerk. Is his hurtful comment forgivable?

— The sister

DEAR SIS >> He was insensitive, but you are out of line. Of course, it's forgivable — your brother said it badly, but it sounds like a very stressful situation for all concerned and if you really want to help — don't throw gas on the fire.

Slap happy

Dear Short Answers >> I have an old friend who has become very successful over the years. She is successful in her business life and in her family life, but it has become excruciating to hear her stories. Can it be that she never screws up? Can it be that her husband and her children never disappoint? Can it be that she actually has figured out how to balance the multiple demands of work and family without breaking a sweat? I'm sick of it — should I say so?

— Just a regular gal

DEAR REGULAR >> We feel your pain but it is unlikely that a comment from you will sober her up. We, too, have wondered if the perpetually self-satisfied are stupid, insensitive — or choose to surround themselves only with sycophants.

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