Parents Guide to Internet and Text Slang
Communication is an important part of our daily lives. Through speech, hand gestures, and even facial expressions, individuals are able to convey questions, concerns, and thoughts to those around them. In these technologically-advanced times, is should be of no surprise that communication through cellular phones, portable computers, and other similar devices is becoming more and more prevalent—especially among tweens and teens. Though communication through these pieces of equipment can be beneficial, it is often done at the expense of parents and teachers, who are often unfamiliar with specific terms, symbols, or phrases. Individuals who are interested in learning more about teen texting and slang should first understand the basics of texting, its facts, symbols, and terms. Educating teens on the do’s and don’ts of texting can be an effective way to prevent unwanted attention and ensure their safety.
What is Texting?
Texting is traditionally defined as the process by which brief written messages are sent between two or more people, often with the use of a cellular phone or other mobile device. Recent advancements in text messaging technology have allowed users to send pictures, voice recordings, and videos within the original message. Originally, text messaging was designed for use in situations in which vocal communication was either undesirable or completely impossible. Today, texting has begun to replace spoken phone conversations as a primary method of communication. While most phone companies now include texting packages as part of a monthly bill, certain remote countries may still charge users on a text-to-text basis.
As mentioned previously, over the past decade, the use of text messaging has dramatically increased in popularity. In fact, according to some research, the average adult sent as many as 45 texts in one day. This number is even higher for tweens and teens, with some evidence suggesting that these individuals may send 100 text messages a day! Though texting can be useful it many cases, it also has a downside. In fact, sexting—the process by which individuals send sexually explicit images or messages—has become a trend for students between the ages of 12 and 18. In addition, cyberbullying, both over the the Internet and through cell phones, has led to a number of serious consequences. Recently, state and federal organizations have taken a harsh stance of sexting and cyberbullying, making it a punishable crime in many states.
Identifying Internet and Text Terms
Obviously, identifying the terms used in a text message is essential for concerned parents, teachers, and other adult mentors. In many cases, interpreting the texts sent by tweens and teens can be exceptionally difficult, as they may purposefully use acronyms or phrases that are unfamiliar to older adults. Often, unfamiliar terms, phrases, or acronyms may be translated through the use of online resources. Individuals who do not have access to the Internet may also be able to obtain assistance from college students, younger family members, or friends. In some cases, questioning the sender or recipient of the message may also be an effective way to obtain translation.
Identifying Internet and Text Symbols
In many cases, tweens and teens do not use words or letters, but rather symbols to portray images, thoughts, questions, or concerns. As with difficult text messages, interpreting a single or series of symbols can be quite challenging, especially for individuals who do not use the technique themselves. Along with acronyms and teen slang, text symbols may also be interpreted through the use of online resources. Some electronic retail professionals may also be able to provide assistance when it comes to identifying a specific text message symbol.
Educating Teens on the Do’s and Don’ts of Texting and Internet Communication
In the end, it all comes down to education about texting and other forms of internet communication. While parents, teachers, and other responsible adults must familiarize themselves with the terms and symbols used by tweens and teens on a regular basis, these young individuals should also be taught responsibility when it comes to texting. Specifically, tweens and teens should understand that sending a message that can be viewed as intimidating or sexually provocative should never be done. In addition, if they receive a message such as the one described above, they should feel free to go to a parent, teacher, or guardian as soon as possible. Finally, teens and tweens should be encouraged to always follow their conscious when it comes to the use of texting technology—if something feels wrong, it likely is. And is some cases, it may even be illegal.
Parents who are interested in learning more about the Internet and text slang should visit the following websites:
- Internet Slang
- The Circle of Respect: Are You In It?
- The List of Chat Acronyms and Text Message Shorthand
- Common Texting Terms Parents Should Know
- Texting Terms
- 50 Text Words Parents Must Know
- Texting Slang Invading Academic Work
- Sexting Prevention
- Quick! Tell us what KUTGW Means
- Kids: Texting and Sexting
- Grade Appropriate Resources About Online Safety
- Teens, Cell Phones, and Texting
- Teen Texting Soars, will Social Skills Suffer?
- Study: Teens Prefer Texting to Talking
- Texting Etiquette
- Too Much Texting Increases Health Risks in Teens
- Tween and Teen Health: Teen Texting—Help Your Teen Avoid the Risks
- Safe Internet Surfing: Teen Chat Room Acronyms
- Texting and Teen Development
- Text Messaging and its Effects on Teens' Grammar
- Responsible Text Messaging Tips
- Children and Electronic Media
- Sexting Prevention Education
- The Joy of Text: A Parents’ Guide
- OMG, It's an IM Lingo Guide for Parents
- Teens and Cell Phones
- Parental Controls on Cell Phones: Calling Options can Contain Costs and Keep Your Child Safe
- Online Safety for Parents and Teens
- Teen Talk: A Survival Guide for Parents of Teenagers
- Text Messaging Vocabulary: Thx 4 the msg, see u l8r 2nite