Yet another reason to wonder if Facebook complicates life more than it's worth reared arose recently. I received not one but two backhanded compliments from the same person in response to pictures I posted. They came from someone I do not know well; certainly not well enough to assess intent nor to expect they have an ax to grind with me.
What an fascinating thing, the backhanded compliment: it leaves one so conflicted and confused, thinking first "Oh how nice" then "Wait a minute" then winding up at "Well how on earth do I reply to that?".
Online social sites like Facebook add a new dimension to the occasion of these uncomfortable statements. Where normally you can easily let a remark pass with a simple blank look or a change of subject, the online remark is usually posted in a way that others can see it indefinitely unless one takes action to remove it, risking the creation of even more awkward feelings.
Both online and off I choose to ignore backhanded compliments and I think that's the best route to take. With people I know well I might gently poke back at them and make light of remark, knowing that my friends never intend to make me feel badly. "Thanks, Friend!" If it really stings I would just privately message them and say "Wow, I don't think you realize how hurtful that was."
In this case I ignored the comments and later was later realized I was just being overly-sensitive.