My adult cousin with Downs has a weird Facebook.
February 26, 2014 5:34 AM Subscribe
My 22-year-old cousin with Downs syndrome has a Facebook account. I'm worried she's posting inappropriate things.
posted by quadrilaterals to Human Relations (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My cousin Becca and I grew up pretty close and we're still good friends. (I'm a few years older.) She has a Facebook account. She previously had a Facebook account, and mostly posted about celebrities and followed celebrity imitation profiles. She does not know that what she was following were not actually, say, Zac Efron. Her profile was deleted by her parents a few years back because she started to have issues with telling real life from things like Twilight on Facebook. It was recently reopened.
Becca has been more and more interested in relationships and sexuality over the past five years. My understanding is this is a normal thing, and that a lot of people with Downs have relationships. She currently is in a relationship with a boy her age who also has developmental disabilities. When you talk to her, she makes a lot of references to kissing and boyfriends, and asks a lot of questions.
Becca posts a lot of Facebook, pretty normal stuff. She has conversations with her boyfriend, talks to family and friends, and so on. But recently, it's been popping up on my feed that she's been tagged in sexual or explicit My Little Pony drawings. Which she then comments on. I don't know the person who is posting these pictures. Some of the photos are...fine. Some of them are disturbing and give me the creeps. Becca will comment things like "yummy" or "i love it". Her boyfriend also comments similarly innocuous things on these explicit drawings. No one in the comments says anything inappropriate to her. She engages, from what I can tell, of her own free will.
I feel really uncomfortable and embarrassed about this. Her parents are her Facebook friends and have access to her profile, but I'm not sure how often they're checking. Maybe they just didn't find this alarming. I'm not sure how much I'm allowing my understanding of disability to mess with things. If it was another cousin, even one who was 17 or so, I would maybe send them a short message explaining that everyone can see what they're doing on Facebook and then remove them from my feed. With Becca, I don't think that would work, because I don't think she understands how or why it is inappropriate. I also don't want anything to happen to her. But she's an adult, and presumably she gets a say in what she wants.
What should I do? How should I approach this? Should I just be fine with the situation?
I live across the country and am not in frequent contact with any adult members of that side of the family, but it wouldn't be really weird for me to contact any of them.