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HELP! My mom is stalking me on Facebook

HELP! My mom is stalking me on Facebook

Your Facebook or Twitter is the one corner of the entire solar system where you feel free to be yourself. Or it used to be, until Mom found the Internet.

Does refusing to friend your sister or mother mean you have strong boundaries, or that you’re ashamed of your roots?

How do you tell someone you love that you aren’t ashamed to be metaphorically naked, but that doing it while Dad watches is like being naked in front of your boyfriend and the Planned Parenthood doctor at the same time?

Better than that, I hope.

HELP. Thoughts?


  • I believe this is relevant because so many of our online selves are meeting, crashing into, rubbing shoulders with, etc, our ‘IRL’ personas. Some people have an easier time navigating this than others. My family of origin’s culture feels automatically entitled to each other’s innermost thoughts, whether the individual members like it or not.

    It’s complicated.


  • I accepted the invites* then created a list for them and blocked that list from interacting with my account.

    *There was a period after accepting the invites when my sister acted like herself – thus the listing / restricting.

    Sure, we’re Facebook friends, but she (and the others) can’t see my profile, can’t post on my wall, etc. My wall posts don’t show up on their walls… from their perspective I just don’t do anything there anymore. If she or anyone else has noticed, they’ve said nothing.

  • My mom’s a lot more laid back than she used to be. She got shock therapy from my chronic runaway sister in the 90’s and after my brother died, she decided to accept us all as is. Last time I saw her I talked about being an atheist and I asked if it it made her sad and she just shrugged and hugged me. But my fundy aunt and her family, they block me.

  • my mom sings karaoke and is convinced that she is a rockstar. She only uses FB for her “fans” (her words not mine)
    ’nuff said.

  • I miss my online anonymity, but am trying to learn to be a “no-secrets” kind of person. It hurts but it’s probably a good idea in the long run.

  • Thank you, everyone.

    Hot diggity, was this blog a good idea.
    I had a problem that was making my stomach churn. Instead of taking my insecurity out on my poor family, I took that ridiculous photo and thought about what a provocative blog post this would make.

    Then I got sympathy, relief, and practical advice.

    We are onto something here. “No Secrets” mutual support.

    We all just want to feel ‘got’. Even the people who don’t get us feel left out when other people are getting us and they aren’t invited.

    I love you all. Really. This blog is already making me be less of a bitch.

  • “no secrets” is easy for me.
    i am, singly, the worst liar on the planet.
    you are got mizz thang, you are definitely, “got”.

  • I had thought the “no secrets” way of living was catching on years ago. :)

    Lest this become a relationship post, I think that the concept applies 100% to those you love. Outside of that sphere lies very muddy waters. And I say that primarily because of the fact that not everyone (yet) adheres to these rules.

    I too have had my family “friend” me on Facebook. And I too have asked myself these very questions. And, I’ll be honest, I’ve filtered those topics in which I’ve chosen to discuss, simply for the fact that my cousins’ kids are now friends with me. But other than that (probably Puritanical) topic filter, I speak from the heart. Isn’t it through speaking to each other truthfully that we learn the most we can, and we progress forward the most? Even if that truth is sometimes brutally honest?

    • Yes, but the truth hurts.

      I agree with you: the ideal is to speak openly and honestly in all situations, but the reality is that we filter ourselves out of (false?) propriety. It is Puritanical in origin most likely, but hey, I’m an American. Puritanical is all I know.

      So, it’s a process of becoming more honest, and to be realistic, Facebook has probably helped that process in its own strange way. Facebook as a catalyst for social change: who knew.

    • Who knew? danah boyd !

  • […] HELP! My mom is stalking me on Facebook at April 19th, 2010 9 Comments […]

  • Hello, A Dirty Hippie! Enchante and thanks for the thoughts.

    The way it seems to be playing out in real i.e., digital) time is that the power of the crowd is peer-pressuring the emotionally AWOL among my friends to act appropriately for the context.

    TheHun, you are so right. Honesty is best even if it hurts. Might I asseverate, ‘Discretion IS the better part of valor.’

  • there are a few things to consider here as facebook is as public as my life has gotten. perhaps it’s the fact that moms like to monitor us, but there are many people amongst my friends that are more shockable than my mom, and if it doesn’t pass by her, should i really be posting these things on a semi-public board? these comments and pictures stay on the internet, like some kind of sky writing, for all to see. if you’re putting up something you don’t think you’re comfortable sharing with your mom, but think is perfectly acceptable for your circle of friends maybe there are other questions you should ask yourself, like why you want to share these moments with your friends and display that part of your identity.

    i understand the awkward mom thing… i made my mom cry by something that was posted of me on fb. i had to explain to her the circumstances of the particular event, but it made me realise this may not have been the best idea to post it on facebook in the first place. that’s all.

    • ..and it goes on.

      I gave Mom (Boss, Cousin, Godmother) a chance, by not filtering my FB feed.

      Here’s the result, with metronomic regularity –

      IRL Lurkers –

      1)Copy-and-paste without attribution and usually without understanding, my status updates as their own;

      2) Comment on topics clearly not aimed towards them in a display of disingenuousness that discourages any real dialogue, and, always, always, always –

      3) Turn every. Freakin’. Topic back to his/herself and kill it dead.

      It makes me tired. There’s our boundary issues in digital black and white. Unbelievable.

      That said, Andrea, you are absolutely right about it being a public conversation. But some people just aren’t interested in learning the concept of private dialogue withing a public forum.

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