Poor Social Media Choice made by Teen

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
My family has been friends with the family down the street since our children were little. Our daughters are now 16 years old, and I am unsure how to handle a situation that just occurred. This family friend’s daughter used profanity when making a rude comment about someone. It is a private social media account, but she needs to know that this could be detrimental to her in many ways. My daughter knows that it is inappropriate, and told me about it. I want to tell her mother because I want her to take it down (for her own good). However, I know the mother will be so angry, and I hate to get her in trouble. What do you think I should do? Thank you.

Dear N.S.,
Even though it is a private account, I would be nervous about who could end up seeing it. She needs to learn that saying rude things about people usually gets back to the person, and profanity is never acceptable on social media. I understand that you are trying to help this young friend, and want to protect her from herself. If you have a good enough relationship with her, I would talk to her directly. If you are uncomfortable with that, then see if you can coach your daughter on what to say to her to get her to take it down. She can give reasons of who may see it from colleges, to potential employers, to sororities. Your daughter (or someone) needs to explain to her that companies and organizations hire people to specifically check social media accounts, for this type of thing. Someone who is on this private account could also take a picture of the post, and forward it to the person (or someone else), and use it against her. If your daughter (or you) cannot get through to her, then I would talk to her mother. Even if this young girl gets mad at you, you are helping her, and it will be worth it for her future.