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Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

No Good Comes From Mentioning Money on Social Media

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I posted on social media that I was excited to have received a stimulus check. One comment on my post said that others were giving their checks to those more in need, “maybe even family members.”

The comment was from the wife of my cousin. She clearly implied that I should consider giving funds to her husband, whom she has long been separated from, and from whom she is financially independent. (Her husband scrapes by and, unlike us, was negatively affected by the lockdowns.)

My wife and I disagree about the propriety of the comment. One of us thinks the public solicitation crossed the line. The other thinks the comment placed the wife’s reputation at risk for the benefit of another, and so was actually praiseworthy. Your thoughts?

GENTLE READER: Demanding that people hand over their money or they will get hurt, where the threat is to harm their reputations rather than their bodies, is the social equivalent of a crime. How the money is then used does not justify the means of getting it.

Miss Manners realizes that she has described a fundraising technique that is used by many charitable organizations. When she hears the phrase “but it’s for a good cause,” she is sadly aware that the “but” means that rudeness is being cited as a virtue.

However, it is never a good idea to post about your financial gains.