Facebook Etiquette with in-laws in mind
November 16, 2012 4:34 PM Subscribe
I am British. I have recently acquired American in-laws. They are a traditionally Republican family. I, like many Europeans, consider the current iteration of the Republican Party has passed so far beyond the pale as to no longer be a rational organisation.
So I saw a post-election graphic on Facebook I would normally have shared, but...I'm wondering how this new branch of family will perceive that.
posted by glasseyes to Human Relations (46 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am progressive and I suppose left-wing but not blindly so, I don't think. I myself married into an English family that were traditionally conservative, with a small c. But my MIL, although traditional, was a most lovely, generous, tolerant person in practice. I understand people are most comfortable with the ideas they've been brought up with and I think there are times when it is actively unkind to insist on telling an older person why everything they believe is (arguably) misguided. Having said that, if I was directly and personally confronted with racism say, I, as Black woman, would challenge it - but sometimes within families, situations are ambiguous. Not everyone's been brought up to question authority or examine their own default opinions.
This is to say, I believe members of a family should treat each other with consideration and try not to be confrontational. I believe in sticking up for what I believe in but to try to do so without hurting other people's feelings as in family situations I'm usually aware they are trying not to hurt mine.
So, this particular graphic was three consecutive maps of the USA showing how areas which voted Republican this year correspond with areas which instituted segregation last century and the former slave states of the South in the century before that.
My question is, would this be seen as intrusive by my new in-laws? Would they think I don't have the right to make such a comment since I probably don't understand their country and their system and don't have a stake in it? (Actually I do have a stake in it as my daughter and grand-daughter will make their home there for the foreseeable future.)
But I guess I'm just interested, American Mefites, in what your reactions, as Americans, would be to a foreigner Facebook-posting such a graphic. Of course me and the in-laws are all on Facebook together for the communication, and I'm quite aware they are being reely reely polite and considerate towards me.
Another aspect to this is that since USA is a global power what happens there deeply concerns other countries - we watch your news with interest as we know...sorry to be partisan...Mitt Romney as president would have been catastrophic. I suppose one answer to this conundrum might be, filter the in-laws out so they don't see such posts. But this feels dishonest, somehow. I hope to know these people better and I feel even if we have different attitudes, we ought in the future to be able to talk about it civilly and respect each other.
To recap, American Mefites, what would you feel on seeing such a comment on the Facebook feed of a British person? I just want to get an idea of whether it would be unnecessarily provocative or hurtful.