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Come and Get Your Little Cousin: The Facebook Edition

The times I realize I’m getting older the most is when it comes to social media and my younger cousins.

It drives me nuts to see them posting inappropriate things or stupid things, or writing like English is not their first language.

I’m old not just because I was content drinking wine yesterday with a heating pad around my neck, and I actually purchased a bubble massage mat for my tub, but because I had to pull one of my cousins into a private convo on Facebook today to admonish him for posting a photo of his brand new handgun with the caption, “My new toy.”

His friends congratulated him and complimented him by calling him a gangsta. He stopped them there, but said he needed it for protection and that he should get one before Obama says we can’t have em.

I’m upset for a number of reasons.

He lives in the south, and a number of people in the south have legal, registered guns. Our grandfather is one of them. They’d shoot guns in the air at midnight on New Years.

But my problem is, he’s in his 20s and is heavily involved in party promoting. Quick money exchanges hands, and in some cities party promoting can be very competitive and when new promoters come on the scene and steal customers from other regular parties, beefs can arise.

My other problem is employers and police check Facebook now.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hated when things happen to folks, now the photo that you see on the news is grabbed straight from Facebook and it is the most unflattering, most polarizing photos of young people wearing stereotypical clothing or doing negative things. Then people weigh in that the person had to be a criminal and deserved what they got if they were killed or involved in a crime.

I don’t want my cousin to be judged in that way.

I honestly don’t want my cousin, who is a large, black man to be pulled over with a gun whether it’s registered or not. It’s just one more problem one more reason for potential harassment, or for an antsy police officer to say they feared for their life, he was armed and can kill him justified.

This is the world we live in.

I also told him with what he does, he may have acquired a lot of friends, but everyone isn’t and you have to be careful of what you post. When you advertise that you have a gun, someone is going to test you to see what you’ll do with it. And if you have one you have to be prepared to use it.

My cousin responded that he doesn’t really have haters and he’s friends with everyone.

Everyone please roll your eyes with me.

I think I’m a nice person. But I guarantee there is someone out there who just doesn’t like me for whatever reason. I don’t know why, but that person is out there sucking their teeth at the mention of my name.

His sister is 19 or 20. For the most part, she’s a good kid. She’s just really proud of her body and often gets compliments on how “thick” she is and what a great butt she has. That’s a whole other ball of wax (self-esteem, modesty talk…), but I can’t help but feel protective of them.

I’m not very close to them as I should be, so sometimes I don’t feel like I have the right to jump on their case, but when I see something egregious, I jump in, because I’d be mad if something happened to them and I didn’t. And I care about their future. They don’t need to participate in that kind of social media behavior. They are smart kids who can have a positive future without their bad choices being displayed for the world to see.

Personally, I’ve cut down significantly from party pics, and even if I have a drink in my hand during a photo-op, I put it down, or I put it behind my back.

I don’t want anything to hold me back and I don’t want to embarrass myself or my family.

It’s scary with this generation that is coming of age with Facebook. They are really, really free with it and don’t think about the implications.

Maybe I’m being a 31-year-old fuddy duddy, but this is the one instance where I feel like age and experience comes in handy and whether they want to hear it or not, I have to say something.

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2 thoughts on “Come and Get Your Little Cousin: The Facebook Edition

  1. Hey, good for you. It takes courage to speak up –especially when it’s family. I hope they listen to you.

    • He said he’d consider what I said. That’s the best I can get, but I’ll take it for now. If it causes him to think in the future, then I feel like I accomplished something!

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