Recently, I found myself involved as a "Twitter expert" in a "radio debate" about swearing on social media. It went so well that they missed out publishing that week's show podcast and I said "sir" live on air, which while it isn't a swear word, is a feature of my speech that really annoys me that I'm trying to eliminate.
I'll level with you: I'm on the fence somewhat. I'm very much of a mind that gratuitous swearing is best avoided. That's why it's gratuitous. Whilst I'm being honest, I may as well throw in that I spend a lot of time in pubs. Gratuitous swearing is rife in many pubs, which I'm sure will not be particularly shocking news to you.
Now for as long as I can remember sticking your middle finger up to anyone was a straight up insult and went hand in hand with strong verbal abuse. This gesture got shortened to just the hand action without the need for words, nowadays however the middle finger often comes with a smile! Or a sticking out of the tongue, or a wink!