So much for online manners, as social media monitoring service Reppler recently found that 47% of all Facebook walls contain profanity and cursing, with over half of all offensive posts written by friends. Worse, 80% of the over 30,000 users whose data was analyzed in supporting studies have at minimum one post or comment containing cussing that was provided courtesy of buddies with a penchant for foul language.
Fun fact: The most common epithets include various derivations of f*ck and sh*t, with b*tch trailing behind in third place. (Son of a…) Curiously, friends are twice as likely to swear in comments on users’ walls instead of posts, versus users themselves, who are doubly apt to do so in actual wall posts. Given that schools, prospective employers and saintly relatives are increasingly turning to social networks as points of reference and research, the data should come as a sobering wake-up call. While courtesy and professionalism aren’t always hallmarks of online networks (usually treated with the respect of public bathroom stalls), it’s worth considering. Given online activity’s sheer level of visibility and persistence, as anything you do on the Internet tends to linger and be easily called up with a Google search, maybe there’s merit to watching one’s Ps and Qs.
While it’s impossible to regulate others’ actions, it is possible to censor one’s own. Bearing in mind that friends’ commentary and offhand comments can all influence how others perceive you, there’s considerable upside to keeping jokes and remarks G-rated. Not to be judgmental or anything. We’d just hate to see you @#$%! up your life due to a momentary lapse of decorum.