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family and social media

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Many adults learn that a little distance and a good amount of boundaries is what helps their relationships with family run smoothly. Friends are the family we choose because, most of the time, we definitely wouldn’t have chosen our actual blood to be our families if we had any say in the matter. It’s common to love but not like family members. You have an undeniable bond, but then there’s the fact that you can go onto have completely different values, beliefs, morals, and lifestyles. It’s why there can be so much drama within families. We don’t have to be completely close with all of our family members. Part of being an adult is identifying who you see eye to eye with in life, and who you don’t, and then figuring out how to tactfully navigate relationships with the latter. And that’s where good old distance and boundaries come into play. Social media shatters those boundaries.

We’ve all gotten that friend request from a second cousin or aunt and thought, “This is not good.” They just think it’s fun to follow what’s happening in your life, but you have intentionally curated and edited what you show them about it. You’ve had that option because you typically only spoke in person or over the phone. You chose what they saw…and what they didn’t see. You also, in that very same way, got to choose what they commented on, and what they got no say in. Your social media is, typically, for your peers who fully get you, and for strangers who, well, who cares what they think. Family falls in a weird place in between those two groups, which is why being friends with them on social media can get awkward in the following ways.

They miss the point of your posts

Your family doesn’t understand your humor. They understand it so little that they don’t even realize when you’re making a joke. So when you write a post that’s meant to be satirical, they think it’s genuine, and they speak to it as if it’s genuine. Maybe you post a selfie with your roots grown out and the caption, “Growing out my hair. Hopefully my husband still wants to bang me.” And an aunt writes, “It’s important to keep up appearances in a marriage and not get too comfortable. It’s too easy to stop putting in an effort for our spouses, but they deserve it the most!” And you’re left just shaking your head.

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