Postcards from Yo Momma

Two authors and their moms rap about Internet etiquette.

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Doree and Jessica

Doree and Jessica


Doree Shafrir

Jessica Grose

Doree Shafrir and Jessica Grose are the authors of the new book Love, Mom, a collection of endearing e-mails, texts and IMs from mothers, based on their website, Postcards from Yo Momma (postcardsfromyomomma.com). With help from their own moms, they explain how to diffuse awkward instances of Momternet correspondence.—Amy Plitt

What do I do if my mom posts something nasty on my ex’s Facebook wall?
Doree:
I’d be more concerned that your ex accepted your mom’s friend request! Remind Mom that Facebook isn’t private, and she’s just embarrassing herself.
Doree’s mom, Roberta Steinberg: Why did your ex friend your mom in the first place?
Jessica’s mom, Judith Ebenstein: A very firm, “Mom, this is none of your business” is in order, followed by an apology to the ex.

Is it considered poor etiquette to tell your mom not to sign off from instant messages by typing “Love, Mom,” like in an e-mail?
Judith:
Not if you couch it as, “Mom, you might be interested to know that in 2009, this is not how we sign off.” Of course, as a mom, I think it’s totally understandable!
Doree: Pick your battles. In the grand scheme of things, having your mom sign off that way doesn’t really affect you all that much.

Should you ever try to correct your mom’s typos in an e-mail?
Doree:
When you correct your mom’s typos, you’re opening yourself up to her picayune criticisms. Don’t do it!
Jessica: The only people whose typos you should point out on e-mail are your ex-boyfriends.
Roberta: What about children who love to correct typos?
Judith: Doesn’t everyone misspell words in e-mails? Would you feel comfortable correcting her grammar? Some flaws are best left untouched.

My mom found all of my embarrassing (read: drunk) photos on Facebook!
Doree:
First, you have to put your mom on your limited-profile list, ASAP. Then you have to reassure her that these were youthful indiscretions, never to be repeated.
Jessica: It depends on how old you are. If you’re over 22, tell your mom that you’re old enough to monitor your own online presence. If they’re still paying for your college education, say it was all in good fun.
Roberta: Tell Mom that if she doesn’t like your photos, she shouldn’t check your account every five minutes.

I accidentally shared a super-TMI secret about my significant other in an e-mail that his or her mom read.
Doree:
Laugh it off! Say that you were joking.
Jessica: Pretend you were making a bawdy joke and never, ever mention it again
Roberta: As Freud would say, there are no accidents.

If Mom is IM-ing you at inopportune times, is it appropriate to block her?
Doree:
Appropriate, especially since she won’t know that you’ve blocked her.
Jessica: Definitely. Especially if you’re at work—in this economy, she’d understand if you don’t want to get caught IM-ing during work hours.
Roberta: Go right ahead. Your mom will have no idea it’s been done!

CHECK IT OUT! “Postcards from Yo Momma: What to Do When Your Mom Gets Drunk and Posts on Your Facebook Wall”: 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson St between Canal and Desbrosses Sts (212-601-1000, 92ytribeca.org). Thu 7 at 7:30pm, $12.

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