To not want my MIL involved in my social media?

(65 Posts)
dodgykeeper Wed 23-Apr-14 20:24:15

We have made several big moves over the years as have many of my friends from uni so I now have friends all over the place in several different time zones so sites like Facebook are really important to me and my family. My MIL 'likes' and makes comments on EVERYTHING. It's embarrassing and I hate it so I post less and less. I had been using twitter and Instagram instead but she has found me on there now too. She does the same to our 14yr old dd. I did one of those review things and it showed that she commented 4x more than anyone else on my Facebook page last year. She's a nice person but I'm really startup to hate her, and then I feel guilty for feeling that way!

Allinson2014 Thu 24-Apr-14 17:58:03

I had this problem with my step mum. We're not close, haven't seen her for at least a year but on FB she seemed to comment on everything I put up. She also posted inappropriate innuendo type comments on my statuses and was generally annoying. I tried hiding her but she could still comment. I've also got my dad on there (who is fine) but everything she tagged him in I could see too. She started posting statuses about my dad stripping (he's 60 and I really didn't need that image!). In the end I blocked her, she didn't notice for a month but then all hell broke loose and she started texting me saying I had offended her. But my FB is now much more peaceful lol.

Ellie36 Thu 24-Apr-14 16:13:38

I didn't accept my MIL friend request as she is a worrier and I didn't want her to be phoning me if I posted an "argh" status or was annoyed about something, I did tell her why I was doing it though and she didn't mind smile I also ignored my aunt's request as she is a nosy busybody lol

2rebecca Thu 24-Apr-14 16:05:59

I think one problem is that your inlaws aren't really your family, they are the person you married's family. I have grown up with my own relatives and am more inclined to share stuff with them than my inlaws.
I think if both DIL and MIL are happy with this then fine, but when I'm an MIL I can't see me requesting to be a facebook friend or whatever of my SIL/DIL. If they ask me I may accept but I do think MILs pushing for it are imposing. Why not just be your son or daughter's facebook friend?

DowntonTrout Thu 24-Apr-14 16:01:43

I don't think you are wrong. It sounds as if she oversteps the boundaries sometimes and doesn't realise what an imposition it can be, constantly liking and commenting. As if she's spying or prying.

But you can do something about it. You can limit who sees your stuff and only post certain things for her benefit. Yes I'm a MIL, but I am also a DIL and my MIL drives me potty so I do get it. It's just sometimes on here there's a general feeling of MIL bashing and some of us aren't so bad grin

dodgykeeper Thu 24-Apr-14 15:50:43

It would appear that the MILs think I am wrong. I do understand why which was why I asked if I was being unreasonable. I know liking things isn't that bad but it's been 5years on Facebook and now spreading to other medias. It's like the slight rubbing that eventually causes a blister.
FYI my MIL would tell you we have a great relationship because I work hard to give her that for my dh and dcs. I skype her twice a week so she always feels part of our lives and knows what were up to. Also my mum is on Facebook and doesn't behave in that way.

marshmallowpies Thu 24-Apr-14 12:09:22

I guess it does depend very much on your existing relationship with your parents or other relatives...I adore my parents and I would say we are pretty close, but I don't share all my life with them and I'm sure they don't with me. They don't know much about my close friends post-university, for instance, and only met some of my closest friends for the first time at my wedding.

I appreciate the fact that they respect my privacy and don't demand to know about all aspects of my life. My MIL is very different from my DM and adjusting to that has been challenging. (DH is also quite a private person but of course he is used to his mum and just rolls his eyes & laughs when something she says annoys him). We are also both aware that in our case there is more to it than this: MIL is sadly estranged from one of her other children, and so DH and I are very aware that we and her grandchildren are filling a very large gap in her life left by someone else being absent, which feels overwhelming at times: again, DH has had years of dealing with this issue, for me it's still quite a new thing.

And yes, I'm aware there is a cognitive dissonance between me 'valuing my privacy' and 'being on Facebook'. It's definitely a contradiction - but that's the benefit of the privacy controls, I can choose who sees what.

2rebecca Thu 24-Apr-14 12:02:27

You need to be more forceful with her, especially over things like telling her how long she can stay for not being passive and leaving the decision up to her.
Agree re changing privacy settings and I'd use facebook less and not be worried about upsetting people if you don't friend them.

WeeClype Thu 24-Apr-14 11:52:55

I changed my settings after my MIL put a comment on a photo saying "3 of my beautiful grandchildren" even tho there was 5 of her grandchildren in the album I had just uploaded......instead of commenting on the actual photo she left it on the album, making it look like she was leaving out 2 of the grandchildren.

DowntonTrout Thu 24-Apr-14 11:19:51

My DSs partner of 3 years has me on FB. Lovely, lovely young woman and she is one of my most frequent commenters. That's nice.

I also still have his previous girlfriend, her mum, dad and sister. I "liked" the photos of her growing baby bump, I'm very happy for her, her mum "likes" lots of my photos. People may find that weird but she was very much in our family for almost 4 years and I don't see why I should cut her out just because she isn't with my son anymore. Both DS and current partner are completely fine with it. I hope I am a good MIL and MIL to be. I'm going to have to stop the drunken selfies though, it could be embarrassing now I'm a grandma grin

KikitheKitKat Thu 24-Apr-14 11:17:33

FM??? FB

KikitheKitKat Thu 24-Apr-14 11:17:16

Yes I agree Rose that ANYONE who embarrasses you on FM should be deleted, including DMs and DMils.

RoseRadish Thu 24-Apr-14 11:06:55

But MILs/parents who are treated like a normal person and a friend are presumably treated that way because they are nice and have a clue about how to behave! Of course there will be lovely MIL/DIL relationships and DILs who are happy to have their MILs on FB.

This thread isn't saying that all MILs should be banished off FB for being MILs. It's their intrusive and inappropriate behaviour. We would all love to have lovely, humane, kind mums and MILs, but not everyone has that. To those of who who are that kind of MIL, that is great and I really hope I can be like you one day.

But I'm not going to let my mum off the hook, for example, for making racist, vacuous and nasty comments, just because she's my mum or just because she's the older generation who somehow should automatically be respected and included. No.

If you want to be respected by the younger generation when you're old, maybe you have to be nice, have some sense of boundaries and respect other people too.

KikitheKitKat Thu 24-Apr-14 10:54:08

Luckily my DM and Dmil are way to old to know how to switch on a computer, let alone use Fb or Instagram! However I am old enough to be a DMil myself though I had my DC late so it wont be an issue for a decade or so, and like Kurri said, I would hope to be treated like any other FB friend by any future DIL (if she agreed to being FB friends). I thought it was generally seen as a good thing when 'friends' like or comment on your posts, but I guess this doesn't apply to MILs!

LucilleBluth Thu 24-Apr-14 10:53:51

This makes me sad, I have two DSs....and a DD. I love having a glass of wine with my lovely intelligent, interesting MIL, she's an only child like me, we live far away but DH will ring her to chat on his commute.....she is in our lives.

Maybe I should pin all my hopes on DD [hmmm]

HeartStarCircleSquare Thu 24-Apr-14 10:46:15

And I will be a mil twice over one day. God, I hope to be in no way involved in my dil's lives outside of friendly chit chat and hearing about (the incredibly beautiful) grandchildren I will hopefuly have one day. I have no interest in hearing about Ann Summer's parties they have been to or drunken nights out or randoms they knew in UNi.

HeartStarCircleSquare Thu 24-Apr-14 10:44:34

There is nothing wrong with not wanting to engage your MIL in every aspect of your life. and if you are going to start WW3 by not adding her, things get awkward

Previous generations tended to live near family and friends that the grew up with. They could speak to a friend whenever they needed to..since so many people now move away or have friends who do so...FB bridges the gap.

However at no point in time previous to social media was it normal for all these people to have access to each other (friends/school friends/work colleagues/family) unhindered by you. It makes life incredibly embarrassing if you have people who don't get it or are rude. 20 years ago if you were out in town and saw one you vaguely knew through a friend of a friend you didn't stop to tell them you didn't approve of the way they raise their children or their outfit or what they did last week,. Suddenly people think they have the right to do so via their friends FB pages.

weneedtotalkaboutshriver Thu 24-Apr-14 10:40:45

You too Kurri Kurri

KurriKurri Thu 24-Apr-14 10:39:34

I think if you didn't want people seeing or commenting on your stuff, then you shouldn't have accepted them as friends in the first place. There's plenty of ways to restrict what people see by changing your settings.

I am the 'MIL'- I am friends with my DIL on FB, and my son is friends with her mum and stepdad - his in laws. I like things she puts on her status because I assume that if someone is posting something they are happy for it to be in the public domain. I don't butt into coversations that are clearly between her and her friends and work colleagues, but I read her posts that come onto my feed because its a way of keeping in touch.

I don't know if she has me as a close friend,a friend or an acquaintance, it doesn't matter to me, but I assume that anything that comes my way I am as entitled to comment on as anyone else who receives it.

I think to 'start to hate' someone because they are trying to be friendly (maybe getting it wrong, but you can simply change friendship status to sort that out) is ridiculous. I can think of about a million things your MIL could be doing that are worse than this. You say she is a nice person - so why would you want to hurt her by telling her that everyone else is allowed to read and comment on your public pronouncements, but she is not?

Thank God for my lovely DIL who treats me like a normal person and a friend.

ikeaismylocal Thu 24-Apr-14 10:24:06

Do you live a long way away from her? Maybe it is her attempt to have more of an everyday type relationship with you and your family.

Do yiu send her photos in other ways? A weekly or monthly e-mail but block her from seeing most of your facebook posts?

OnlyLovers Thu 24-Apr-14 10:23:02

I'm on your side in that I wouldn't want my DP's parents following me on FB etc, but I hate that she feels entitled to comment on my neighbour choosing to pay for chemo for her dog or my dd's friends choice of prom dress. –I'm afraid that if you've allowed her to follow you on social media, then she IS entitled to do these things.

The obvious solution, if you find restricting her FB activities a hassle, is just to block her. And maybe set up new accounts on Twitter etc and don't tell her about them? (although, don't you have to give someone permission to follow you on Twitter anyway?).

But TBH it sounds as though this is a symptom of what you feel to be more general boundary-crossing, like their seven-week shock surprise visit. Are there other things that you and your DH need to address with them?

RoseRadish Thu 24-Apr-14 10:19:01

This is why I don't FB at all, because I dread the idea of people I don't really like or share values with having access to and being able to comment on things I want to say, and I also dread the idea of refusing or deleting people for that reason. It's just a rudeness minefeld.

IF I had an account and had my mum on it she would definitely do this. Inappropriate, racist or clueless comments and excessive gushing and liking. I can guarantee it because she's like that in RL.

You don't have to like or respect someone and their behaviour just because they are older, just because they are your MIL or whatever. Social media is really just another avenue for controlling/difficult/embarrassing people to have an impact on your life and to use social expectations to make you accept them. The fact that for many women, their mum or MIL falls into that category isn't their fault.

Callani Thu 24-Apr-14 10:13:23

I would also agree with PPs that it's not just older family members - younger ones can be just as bad too (also friends, but I feel less obliged to keep friends that I find annoying)

I've had to speak to a couple of younger cousins about some posts that have come up in my newsfeed and tell them that maybe they want to restrict their privacy settings so I don't get bombarded by their drivel. I've hidden a couple as well!

The problem with older family members is that it's harder to broach the subject without seeming rude or offensive. The mere hint of it has sent some family members into tears (when I mentioned that I wished I hadn't found out my dog had died on facebook!)

Pagwatch Thu 24-Apr-14 10:12:17

Yeah , change her to an acquaintance .
I'm pretty sure that's what my son has done with me grin

I understand that someone posting to harangue you about stuff or to comment on your friends posts must be annoying so change it.
But to be honest there is a bit of a tone of embarrassment on here, akin to teenagers bring embarrassed when their parents make a joke.
Some of it should just be stuff people roll their eyes at and ignore rather than all the 'omg, it's so awful' comments

Catsmamma Thu 24-Apr-14 10:10:53

you CAN set your Instagram to private if you wish, and then you approve followers or not as the case may be.

pretty sure you can limit/privacy protect yourself retrospectively too, but only for new folks so you'd have to block/delete your MIL first I think if she is already following you

...and yes...we'll all be MILs one day. 3)

Callani Thu 24-Apr-14 10:08:20

Yanbu OP - It's nothing to do with MILs, it's to do with family members (on either side) not understand the social etiquette of posting on Facebook / the internet.

My most cringeworthy moment was in my first job out of uni. I'd only just accepted family members as friends and had been tagged in a photo with new workmates & friends from the area I'd just moved to. Within an hour they were commenting "Ooh he looks like a nice chap" "Have you got eyes for one of them?" "I like that one" "No, I like the other one". It was awful and there was nothing I could do because it wasn't my photo (and this was before privacy settings were more detailed)

Going into work on the Monday was utterly humiliating - people thought it was hilarious and I'd not been there very long (and I'm not exactly gregarious anyway). I had to put up with it for months with people in work thinking it was fun to quiz me on who I "had eyes for" - even a year later it still came up occassionally and new people to the office were told all about it. It never really died out and yet my family members didn't realise how much trouble their thoughtlessness had caused me.

I think people who have "come to the internet" rather than growing up with it don't really understand that social conventions continue online - but I bet sure as anything they'd be annoyed if you replicated their behaviour offline!

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