Long story short: My fourteen year-old cousin has been peppering her Facebook status updates with the 'f'word. And as fourteen year-olds do, she changes her status quite frequently. It's bothered me and I was thinking how I would approach her. I'm sure it's impossible for kids (and adults) to understand the reach and permanency of the internet. So I wanted to offer a kind word of caution.
My concern was two fold. Not only that a future employer, college admissions counselor or the like might take offense to her flowery language, but also what is going to happen to a small town girl that easily uses such an adjective when hormones, boredom and rebellion escalate over the next few years.
So while I was having some phone conversation with her father, I casually mentioned what I had read. He had no idea and was surprised. We discussed and decided that I would send her an email and he would talk to her about it as well. Less than an hour later I sat down with my laptop to compose a quick message and guess what happened?
She deleted me as her friend.
She also deleted every other adult family member from her profile.
Problem solved, at least in the mind of a fourteen year old.