Facebook Can Complicate Family Issues

By Justin Lafferty 

Family issues can sever ties between relatives, parents, and children, but what happens when family members who have grown apart are still connected through Facebook? A Bay Area psychologist told The New York Times that he often hears patients talking about how they heard about a birth or wedding in the family through the social network, and not with a phone call or in-person visit.

Many people have no problem adding family members on Facebook, but matters can become complicated once something causes a rift in the family. However, as relatives are becoming increasingly connected through Facebook, word easily spreads of key events.

The New York Times‘ story quotes a mother in Florida, whose daughter became estranged after the mother didn’t approve of her new boyfriend. The woman talked about how it’s heartbreaking to see her grandchild through pictures on her news feed:

You’re watching other people enjoying your daughter and the grandchild you’re supposed to have, and you’re left out in the cold. I have to watch pictures of my grandson — that I didn’t get — on my daughter’s sister-in-law’s page.

The story also points out that many times, there’s anguish for the relative who decided to sever ties, as posting and tweeting still leaves a digital footprint for others to find. One woman in the story, after she broke away from her father, talked about how it was disconcerting knowing that he still read her social media posts.

Readers: Have you ever had a delicate or tragic family situation play out over Facebook? How did you handle it?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.