Protecting family from youthful indiscretions?
July 26, 2007 8:03 PM Subscribe
I think my cousin's being an idiot and it may come back to haunt him down the line. What can/should I do?
posted by Riki tiki to human relations (18 answers total)
I recently added my 17-year-old cousin as a friend on Facebook. He's white and about as far from a "street" upbringing as I can imagine (grew up in a mansion with an indoor pool and a private tennis court, just to give a sense).
Reading his profile, I've discovered that he's way into gangsta rap culture, which I'm not going to judge. But he's also uploading photos of himself displaying gang signs, and of him and his (also white) friends labelled "Me and my n***as" [censorship added]. He has links to Myspace pages which I'm assuming are theirs, with similar content publicly available (in contrast to Facebook's contact-only default privacy settings).
I'm a little worried that between the racial insensitivity and glamorization of criminal activites, he's going to have created this online persona that will bite him in the ass when a potential employer googles his name. Lord knows most of us do things when we're in high school that we're glad aren't on a permanent record somewhere.
Should I do anything about this? Frankly, I'm willing to accept the possibility that I'm overblowing the situation and that these things sort themselves out.
But if I do take action, what should I do? I don't really have any connection to the guy other than being related (Irish family, he's one of dozens of cousins), so I wouldn't feel comfortable barging into his lifestyle and telling him how ugly the furniture is. At the same time, I don't want to get a reputation as the family narc by ratting him out to his parents. Any suggestions on a way to address this that might actually have an effect without bruising feelings or initiating hostilities?