Advise pal to rethink Facebook exposure

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Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: A former co-worker recently changed her Facebook profile picture to a full body shot of herself lying in bed, wearing a camisole and panties and staring seductively. Although all the essential things are covered up, the tone is pretty obvious. Many of her pictures are selfies in various states of undress. She is doing well in school for a future career in a highly respected medical field. Given the nature of the Internet, these photos will almost certainly come back to haunt this pal. On a deeper level, I'm concerned this might be a cry for the wrong type of attention. I worry that she must be hurting on some level and correcting for it in an ultimately self-detrimental manner. We're not terribly close anymore and haven't seen each other in months. Is there a tactful way I can address my concerns with her, or should I just trust she can take care of herself?

-- Not 'Liking' This

DEAR NOT LIKING: Facebook is a public medium that invites reaction. I have seen people "comment" about photos: "I can't believe you posted this." Given that you are no longer close with this woman, you are in the perfect position to at least express your views, without worrying about the impact on your (distant) relationship. To avoid embarrassing her, you could do this through a private message: "I worry about the racy photos you post because I think they could come back to haunt you in unintended ways." Keep your analysis of her motivations to yourself.


DEAR AMY: I hope your response to "Not on Vacation" was meant to be sarcastic. You suggested this woman use "passive aggression" to communicate with her mother. What terrible advice!-- Disappointed

DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Many others objected to my suggestion that this daughter should respond to her mother with "a combination of stiff upper lip, passive aggression and humor." I had hoped the emphasis would be on the humor.