Do you swear on your Facebook page? When you comment or when you update your status? Someone said how much they disliked that today on my stream and she asked if she was wrong to feel that way. I of course had to answer in the smart alecky way that is pretty much who I am, with edited swear words of course. It turned into a lively discussion. One that got me thinking how many of us are really like our online persona's in real life. You say you don't like cussing but you do it? Or you say your life is wonderful but its really in the crapper. You have 500 friends but don't know more than 100 personally? I am pretty much what you see on Facebook except for some really nice angles when taking pics that shave off some pounds I am, "what you see is what you get". In real life I have been known to swear at inopportune times and at times when for me it was a release.
I blame it on my mechanic father and his filthy mouth and those of his Hell's Angel's customers. In my very formative years I spent a lot of time around him and the motley crew that would take up a seat in his garage. I would sit and listen to their stories peppered heavily with the "F" word as I sat in a corner flipping through Playboy magazines. I was about 6 or 7 and that is when I was already very literately inclined. I read and spelled very well at this age. I did not cuss because my father would have backhanded me had I done so. It was not until Robin Barrios, a St. Joachims school classmate dared me to say the "F" word and the "B" word one day on our walk home that I really felt the power that cussing released in me. My mother on the other hand never uttered a swear word, she was a drastic contrast to my father in every way especially this one.
As my siblings and I got older we spoke in this fashion when of course adults were not around. Our Grandmother my Dad's mom would scold my father on our Sunday visits when he spoke colorfully. "Aye Robert!" She would say and he would roll his eyes and drink his Coors. We would grin and look at each other to watch my Dad get scolded by his Mom. Later in life I seemed to develop some control when I was attending to business, but still thought nothing of cussing in casual conversation. I can honestly say it has really only begun to raise consciousness in me that what I say is being soaked up by the sponge of a grandson of mine. Why yes his little sponge brain is absorbing all of these amazing words like "freezing" and "supper" and he is even learning how to describe his feelings "I am mad."
He will turn three in July and yes he knows cuss words too.....yikes......people think that I am numb to the "F" bomb, but when he says things like "fatass" to describe a magazine pic of some teen mom, and "F" you to converse with my daughters then it is a wake up call. We say he will be kicked out of pre-school because he is going to tell the teacher something like, "I don't want to you fatass, "F" you!" All joking aside I know that swearing makes one appear uneducated and uncouth. I also know that forbidden behavior leads to rebellion. If we take what my grandson is learning now (the cusswords that is) and ignore it, instead of laughing...(we try really hard not to but it just kind of happens), it will probably disappear. I have over 40 units in Child Development, so I know that the thing that most kids do time and again is seek reward. Just as it was a reward for me to rebel and say those words I had never uttered, because I gained praise from a peer and even felt empowered saying them, they then became commonplace for me. We will ignore his cussing and hopefully it will dissipate as his audience grows bored with his antics. I hope.
What I do know is that I am not perfect and never will be, will I still cuss? Ugh....very likely, will I think before I do it? Highly likely, I must take into account the presence of those little sponges around me. Possibly this could be why I never went into teaching, I would not be able to cuss! Hah good thing I drive the bus.....not that I cuss doing that well never...ok can't say that...on a rare occasion I may have uttered a swear word. By the way my bus is equipped with cameras and I don't act like anything other than who I am, that would be way too draining. Good thing you can't pick your nose or scratch your butt on Facebook....I might offend someone else again!