I'm on Facebook and I love the way that it connects me with people I haven't seen in a long time and that I can see pictures of friends and their new families. The status feature keeps me up to date (almost minutely) with what people are doing. One of my recent ones was: "Lark hates it when her son unrolls the entire paper towel roll"
Reading other people's status updates is funny and occasionally informative (just found out my friend had a baby!), but sometimes they are not so funny. I have a lot of the kids from the youth group, college students, or old high school classmates as my friends. Some of their status updates aren't so great. Most of the time I ignore them but if it's someone I know well, I might call them out on it.
Tonight one person had as his status: "'Kid's name' is going full retard.'" I just couldn't let that one slide and told him that wasn't kind. He soon after replaced it with something else.
I am not intimately knowledgeable about Down Syndrome and other disabilities, but I think that the way we treat others has something to say about ourselves. We can encourage others to speak well and watch our words so they have a clear understanding of how hurtful it can be to say those things.
A perfect example comes from my two little parrots who copy everything I say. When something coming out of their mouth doesn't sound as good as when it came out of my own mouth, I know I need to scratch that from my vocab. It's tough though, you know? I've been catching my self saying 'Good Lord' when there is a huge mess or something like that and that's not really an appropriate response. So I've just tried to replace that with "goodness."
Good thing the Good Lord is with me, revealing my error gently and helping me change. I suggest we gently reprove those who use the R-word and help them see the hurtful power of our words.