I love words. They can express all kinds of emotions and degrees of emotion. I love playing with words and using them in a way to both entertain and educate. Words can be used to make people laugh or cry in a good way.
They can also be used foolishly and stupidly. This is especially true of those who do not possess the ability to refrain their fingertips upon yonder keyboard when making certain statements. Like the one I saw today.
I have a few children on Facebook who are both relatives and the children of friends. That makes me very careful about what I post, because little rabbits have big ears- even if those ears are fourteen years old.
There was a post made by one of these kids, asking for suggestions for how he could bring in extra funds for his family. I was so proud of this young man, for this was not a plea for his own gain, but to better his struggling family. Everyone had made some great suggestions, and I had suggested maybe he start his own business. I wouldn't have suggested it if I didn't think he was capable. But the post below mine had shocked me:
Someone had posted, 'You could sell coke.'- and he didn't mean the soda.
I had to read it several times to believe it. I thought is was a snarky friend of his, but here it was an adult relative. Really? An adult put that as his response? I called his mom to give her a heads up. Apparently this relative thinks comments like that are funny, and it was dismissed as foolishness. But I had to wonder...how many other kids would have been influenced by this post? How many other kids reading his reply might be influenced? Especially if they took it seriously, not knowing this guy was a butt-head. (the mom's words, not mine- though I couldn't agree more!)
Facebook has an age restriction of fourteen, but we all know there are kids a lot younger than that that have their own pages. And if you have children as part of your friends list, please, please be careful what you say. You never know when a joke will be taken seriously by a child.
I will not apologize for getting all mama-bear and watching out for posts like that. If you are my friend and I see your kids doing or seeing something that's inappropriate, I will let you know about it. And I expect the same from you- that's just how I'm wired. That doesn't mean I'll tell you how to deal with it- but I'll make sure you're aware of a potential situation.
We all know there are butt-heads online, and yes, even in our families (sometimes more than one!), so take care and watch over your children and make sure their influences are good ones. And don't forget, there is a reason Facebook has an 'Unfriend' button!