If you’re not into updating your Entourage or throwing vampires, the only real thing to do on Facebook is to check out your friend’s profiles. You know… read their updates, comment on their photos, peruse their walls.
So about a year ago, I was scanning a family member’s MySpace page and came across some very disturbing language. His page was littered with the n-word – used by both his friends and he himself.
I can’t say that I know the full context of his posse’s word choice. Perhaps they use the word all the time? Perhaps it’s an inside joke? Who knows. But the thing is, I do know my family member (a cousin on my Caucasian side) – we grew up together, and had always been somewhat close. So, while I felt it would be inappropriate to write a public message on his profile decrying the language, I did think it would be entirely within my familial limits to mention my unease to his brother (who I am much closer with). Our conversation was quite illuminating… and somewhat sad. In the end, I felt it best not to bring up my concern with the cousin in question.
Admittedly, I’m listening in on someone else’s conversation by reading his or her public wall. But public walls are, for all intents and purposes, meant for all to see. In fact, in the Facebook/MySpace world, one’s wall is a living, breathing testament to one’s popularity.
Since this incident, I’ve been wondering what I’d do if the same thing ever occurred with a close friend or family member whose life I am an integral part of - a sister, a brother, a best friend, etc. Is it enough to remind said person that you love them dearly? Does this type of situation warrant a more in-depth discussion (of course, not out of anger, but out of love)? Or is "letting it go" the best approach?