Category Archives: Social Networking

Appropriate Boundaries


We all have different boundaries and react differently when those boundaries are crossed.

Some people lack a verbal filter, others lack the physical one.  As my friends all know I prefer not to be touched.  Have never been a hand shaker (unless I absolutely have too) and not very big on hugging either (which in itself has a specific set of rules)

Hugging Rules (according to me)

1.  Hugging direct family members such as spouses, children, grandparents and some Aunts & Uncles is perfectly acceptable.

2.  Hugging family that you have not seen in a long amount of time as a greeting is acceptable.

3.  Hugging family that you will not see in a long amount of time as a goodbye is acceptable.

4. Friends are the family we chose for ourselves, in certain circumstances and depending on the friendship itself it is acceptable to hug. 

5.  If you can clearly see that one of your family members or friends is in need of a hug and if you asked prior to hugging (I always say “looks like you need a hug, is it okay?”…that way I am warning them and preparing myself) it is acceptable.

6.  In some circumstances if you make a new friend, the person is from a different country or you feel like you have developed a bond of some sort with the individual a hug may be warranted.

Okay…this blog is about boundaries, not just my rules on hugging 🙂

It seems that many people now days have completely lost all sense of boundaries, especially on social networks such as facebook, twitter, etc. 

 I recently had one of my friends send me a message in regards to another one of my friends that they did not know.  I will refer to the male as Jack and the female as Jill.  Jack commented to me about liking Jill’s picture and asked if she was single.  I was very blunt in telling Jack that Jill is very happily married, plus I pointed out how many years Jill has been married.  Unfortunately Jack chose not to pay any attention to my response and sent Jill a very inappropriate message letting her know that he knows that she is married, but that he “gets lost in her picture” and wants to get to know her and be her friend (Jack sent this message during the night).  I received a panicked call from Jill letting me know about the situation the following morning.  My reaction was to apologize to Jill for Jack’s actions and send Jack a very abrupt message letting him know that his interaction with her was not appropriate.   I am hoping that my doing so will bring a halt to the situation, but I did inform Jack that if it does not he will be reported to the social networking site, plus will lose my online friendship.  I have known Jack for almost 20 years as a family friend, but also know that sometimes people just don’t get it, so I had to go BIG in my letting Jack know he crossed a line.  Of course in real life I would continue to have Jack as a friend, but in the virtual world (if he continues to contact Jill) we would have to end the friendship.

What would you do in this situation?  Do you think that Jack went too far contacting Jill and making statements that scared her and made her uncomfortable?  How do you tactfully let a friend know that they are in the wrong and how do your friends tactfully let you know when you are in the wrong?  Has social media desensitized people to basic boundaries?