Manners Matter: With Facebook, Less May Be More

Dear Mary Pat,

My father-in-law is new to Facebook. He seems to think that:

• Facebook will answer you if you ask it a question. (He confuses this with Siri.)

• His opinions are the only ones that are correct.

• Spending hours on Facebook will somehow make him better informed.

• If he posts the same memes again and again, people will be won over to thinking just as he does on a variety of topics: politics, COVID-19, foreign policy, local matters, investments and so on.  

• Posting and sending messages are the best ways to share your news.

My wife has given up trying to tell him that he’s a little too post-happy. Is there a rule book for social media?



Brussels, Wisconsin

Dear Oversaturated,

It seems that the rule book has been thrown out the window. Living harmoniously with one another should be first and foremost in everything we do. If we chose kindness and did not say anything online that we wouldn’t say to someone in person, think how much happier we would be. 

Your father-in-law is free to overpost to his heart’s content, just as you and your wife are free to unfollow him. His other online friends also have the option of hitting like, love, angry face or laughing face; unfollowing him; unfriending him; or just ignoring him.  

Good luck,

Mary Pat 

Miss Pat was educated at the Finnish Finishing School for Fine Ladies. Eloquent in edifying etiquette, she is fluent in seven languages including the language of love. Mary Pat has generously extended her counsel to you and will answer any and all inquiries. Email Mary Pat at [email protected].