I think the answer to your question, Daria, might be that we aggregate info much faster than older people, who are used to watching TV news. The MLK jr thing is only funny if you not only saw tons of people post the misquote on FB and Twitter, but you then saw the article clarifying the misquote, and you then synthesized that information and applied it to SW's joke. Which, if you're not constantly up on the news cycle and zeitgeist, would be fairly hard to do. Constant news is a relatively new thing and not one the previous generations are used to.
Also, if anything in this answer is wonky, I apologize. I am STARVING. And have been grading all day.
As to the original question, I only mock those who I have a close enough relationship with that mocking is a general part of our relationship. Really good friends and family, basically.
My poor mom, she was so lost! Then my brother and I piled on her and teased her for being old :D
Also, my mom does the opposite of your mom, she comments on or likes every thing I ever do on facebook. It doesn't usually bother me, but when she started doing that to my daughter I had to point out that she was being uncool and the girl's friends were going to think her grandma's a creeper!
I would mock anyone who mocks other people. That's generally my rule.
And to totally threadjack, but related to Facebook...does our parents' generation lack a sense of humor? My mom is too afraid of comment on FB (which leave me with the creepy feeling that she is just there to spy on me), but I swear most of the "I don't get it" comments come from parents. (And yes, my comment might be prompted by SW's mom). Do they just have a different sense of humor? Or does FB just exaggerate the differences in generational humor?
I probably wouldn't, because it would embarass them.
I try to think of those situations by asking, would I say this in a room of people and/or would I reply all if it were an email...just to have a better context for the effect it might have. Facebook is like talking--but in front of lots more people, and often someone's family and coworkers.
You could, however, post it to Lamebook.com they black out the last names. If you haven't checked out lamebook, definitely do!
If you have to ask if it's ok, then it's not ok enough.
Combining correcting and older generations, I had to restrain myself from commenting when the friend of a friend's mother chastized the friend for foul language in her FB page, that it was offensive to her and somehow reflected bad on friend's mother. It was just so uncomfortable to read that being written to a 30-something woman. And Friend, I admire your restraint.
Unless the mistake is particularly hilarious, I think making fun of grammar and usage is almost as lame as the mistakes themselves. Maybe even more. And I say this as a former proofreader and English major. My reasons:
- It's just not that funny or clever. It's kind of trite.
- Derailing a conversation to pick on grammatical errors is rude (especially when that conversation is about how awesome teachers are. Give the poor teachers a break...they've got enough problems without derailing a FB post thanking them!)
- You're setting yourself up to get piled on the next time you misplace an apostrophe.
- We're all living in a glass house when it comes to grammar/usage and are in no place to judge. (I messed up "to/too" on my FB page yesterday.)
- It makes people resent grammar and "correctness," which need all the help they can get! Don't feed the backlash!
- Social media sites have a different standard for writing. They just do. Just be glad your friends aren't all writing in text-speak and let it go.