Over the years, I have noticed the freedom with which teens seem to use bad language. But what’s happening on Facebook, Twitter and texting has gone way over some very serious lines that our generation would never have tolerated if said in person. Young people are using words like “retard” or “fag” or the “n” word with shocking frequency. According to an article I read, teens find it acceptable to use such derogatory slurs because “people are just trying to be funny or cool” or “people know we don’t mean it.” I don’t know about you, but I was raised by a Dad who would not tolerate racist or demeaning language, and he would challenge anyone–visitors to our home, friends, ANYONE—if they used such words. I have followed in his footsteps.
If your teen is throwing around these words under the impression that it’s how everyone talks, perhaps it’s time for a lesson in civility. And yes, you have the right to see what they are saying on Facebook, Twitter or their phones; if they are using offensive language, a period of time without internet or phone privileges might be very instructive.