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Why You Should Never Friend Your Family Online

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Once we learn the art of deception, we spend the rest of our lives hiding our true selves from our family.

Beneath the cordial smile and amiable dinner conversation lies a vulgar, unhinged hedonist that appears once you step outside the nest and spend time with your peers. Unfortunately, social networking fosters that lifestyle by maintaining a constant connection with friends. Be it Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz, even LinkedIn, our masked selves are laid bare on our social networks. And if you've ever been guilt-tripped into hitting "Accept" when Great Aunt Frida asks to friend you, she is placed within your circle of peers, on an even keel. Once that happens, the family will start to -- gasp! -- see who you really are.

And we are dirty, profane bastards.

According to, nearly half of our Facebook walls have some form of curse words on them. Sure, we can tell ol' Frida that "it's not us, it's our friends who are leaving that stuff!" That'll work up until she sees our cuss-laden birthday wish to our buddy from high school.

Here's how our blue language stacks up:
  • 47 percent of users have profanity on their Facebook wall.
  • 80 percent of users who have profanity on their Facebook wall have at least one post or comment with profanity from a friend.
  • 56 percent of the posts with profanity on a user's Facebook wall come from friends.
  • The most common profane word is derivations of the f-word.
  • The second most common profane word is derivations of the word sh*t.
  • B*tch is a distant third.
Reppler, the service which scanned 30,000+ user accounts to come up with the stats, played the part of our reactionary parents and noted that an increasing amount of potential employers are reading our Facebook walls and Twitter feeds.

And to that, we respond as we would to our parents twenty years ago.

"Jeez, Reppler, get off our case! Fine! We'll change our privacy settings! All right? JEEZ!"

(See also: Facebook Admits to Google Smear Campaign and Facebook Deemed "Most Appalling Spying Machine Ever Invented")
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.