Friday, August 3, 2012

Your Social Networking is Not Working !

I know a young person. I am going to be intentionally vague on how I am associated with this person because this blog is pretty much not anonymous. Anyhow, I follow this person on some social networking sites, but my primary focus in this rant is about Facebook. This person is a teenager and that fact may excuse some of the behavior I have observed in some people's eyes possibly. I guess I am officially old now,  because some of the things I see and read on this persons FB page  have made me blush. I am not a prude. I don't always think or say the right thing. Trust & believe that I listen to hood/ratchet/ghetto anthem type music with the best of them. But it's all about time and place. For example,  I know people write things on Twitter they would never put on Facebook. It amazes me that some people don't consider their audience. This young person has been warned in the past on several occasions. Several other adults noted some of the very inappropriate posts and it was brought to the attention of the only involved parent. We also approached the young person directly, expressed our concerns, explained consequences, appropriate behavior, etc.  The result: several of us discovered that we had been blocked from being able to see their wall posts anymore.  It then took quite a while before I was reinstated with full access to their page. But, in no time at all the inappropriate comments were back in effect. Posting sexually explicit song lyrics, cursing, threatening back & forth with other immature teenagers, talking/bragging  about what they did last night leaving nothing to the imagination. Just totally inappropriate and TMI. It just like they don't care that any and everyone can see this nonsense.  I have just given up. I can't believe how unconcerned some young people are about how they are perceived. As a teenager growing into a young lady, I was very concerned about what my teachers, church members, aunts, uncles, and especially my parents thought of me. If I had had a platform like FB back then, there is no way I would show my A$& the way I have seen this person do. Even now, if you follow me on social networks you can probably surmise that  A) I like to socialize and  B) I like to drink wine and cocktails and C) I move around the city a lot. However, what you won't see is whether or not I got intoxicated, or am hung over the next day , or got into some drunken verbal altercation, etc.  You can make assumptions but you will not have any evidence of unflattering behavior coming from me on a damn social network.   Not long ago, I mentioned to another person in the same circle with this young person, that they were at it again & basically he told me "What more can you do ? Didn't we already address this ? This child should not even have the privilege of FB.  If acceptable behavior is not being reinforced by the parent, how much impact are you going to have in the situation when you are not there supervising the kid every day ?" 

Damn. You know what. He is right. I hate giving up on people especially young people. But I am beyond frustrated. Mr. Mixologist told me that I need to just block the posts from coming to my news feed since they upset me so. I guess I was just hoping to see a change & just because I don't see it doesn't mean its not happening. It just bothers me.

Do you following any young people on social networks ?

Do you think that people are unconcerned with their online persona ?

What more can I do help this young person understand ?


Miss Milr High said...

I have no idea what it would be like to have access to social media - as we do now as adults - as a teen. In our teenage years many of us had the need to feel accepted and did some dumb shit to get that acceptance. We - as adults - know how dumb this is NOW, but many of us did things we weren't proud of back then. That need for acceptance hasn't changed...just who can see it, who can criticize it and who can judge it. I know that my patents would have died if they'd known the things I did in my teenage years for acceptance, yet in our time there was no way they'd know. Now? It's there for people to see.

I think the best option is to try to be there for the young person any way you can. Instead of judging, offer to be a sounding board and sympathize with what he/she is going through instead of calling him/her out. Tough love is awesome for a self-aware 36 year old, but at 15, 16 or 17 none of us were ready for that.

Beautifully Complex said...

You make some very valid observations. Peer pressure & the need to be accepted by your friends trumps most things. I am going to have to try a different approach but I am challenged to figure out just how. I don't know how to be cavalier about it like I'm a "friend" to them, when I feel my responsibility is more than that. I realize that I sound very judgmental in this blog & I might be over-thinking it. Other people more closely associated with this person just ignore it & avoid addressing it at all & that troubles me too. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.