DEAR MISS MANNERS: My Facebook friends have wonderful lives, and I am glad for them.
They have the best boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife. ("Yeah, be jealous," demands one young lady about the man in her life.) Their sons and daughters win academic and sports awards and are the most thoughtful beings on the planet.
They enjoy relaxing/exciting/exotic vacations. They build huge houses and plant lovely gardens. They enjoy laughter and parties with friends and warm and happy holidays with families. Their grandbabies become more and more adorable with each passing week.
They are thankful people, my Facebook friends, wanting to express their sense of gratitude for all the good in their lives. As some will put it, they are "blessed."
How does one know when one has crossed the line between "sharing" with a hundred or two of one's closest friends and boasting?
GENTLE READER: "Sharing" is a word best used to teach small children to allow other small children access to toys. The activity it now describes teaches the contradictory lesson of It's All About Me.
It is one thing to share good news with intimates who you know will rejoice for you, and for whom you have reciprocal empathy. Shouting from the housetops, however -- especially now that one is so easily able to reach untold numbers from there -- is another.
The test Miss Manners suggests applying is what reaction is expected from the recipients of one's announcements. Not everyone is so frank as the young lady who said, "Yeah, be jealous," but that seems to be the general motivation.