It would be stating the obvious to mention that teenagers love their smartphones.
It is imperative to question however as to whether this has gone beyond a trend and turned into something more sinister.
Are teenagers literally addicted to their devices? This is an important question for parents and anyone who cares about the future of technology and society in general. Are today’s teens turning into smartphone junkies?
More importantly, what are they doing all the time with great concentration and diligence? What are those crazy words, abbreviations and signs which would bewilder even the most learned English Language teacher?
Welcome to the sneaky world of teen texting codes.
Initially created for convenience and to send fast, crisp messages like the telegrams of the past, these have evolved into highly incomprehensible stealth codes.
The basic skillset consists of the ability to freely use and understand simple and innocuous abbreviations like the following:
|LOL = laugh(ing) out loud||TYVM = thank you very much|
|GR8 = great||IMHO = in my humble opinion|
|BRB = be right back||JK = just kidding|
|L8R = later||WUF – Where You From|
|NP = no problem||IRL = in real life|
|TTYL = Talk to you later||WYD= what you doing?|
This advanced level is the one to potentially worry about. Here the range of the conversation can transcend to the Red zone. In this world it goes like this:
|ASL – Age/Sex/Location||LMIRL – Let’s meet in real life||MOS/POS – Mom/Parent over the shoulder|
|CD9 – code 9, parents around||1174 – Meet at a party spot||FWB – Friends with benefits|
|53X– sneaky way to type “sex”||99 – Parents are gone||WTTP- Want to trade
photos? (often inappropriate)
|2BZ4UQT– Too busy for you, cutie||ADR- What’s your address||LH6 – Let’s have sex|
|PAL – Parents are listening
PIR – Parent in Room
|TWD – Texting while driving||**// – Wink, wink; nudge, nudge|
|KOTL – Kiss on the lips||TDTM – Talk Dirty To Me||KPC – Keeping parents clueless|
|SorG – Straight or Gay?||A3 – Anytime, Anyplace,
|BBSD – Be back soon, darling|
|1174 – Nude Club||143 /459 – I love you
1432 – I love you too
|88 – Hugs and kisses|
|8 – It means ate, or oral sex||182– I hate you||S2R – Send to receive (usually inappropriate photos)|
Scary but this is unfortunately the reality today. It is a world full of movies and TV shows that titillate, videos games which are overtly sexually explicit, where right and wrong are variables that are a function of time.
What can parents and guardians do?
Very little, but there are some bright spots.
If the upbringing has been or, where there is time, can be grounded in sound values and led by personal example, most children will realise and set their own limits.
So, there is no need to do much. Nevertheless, now that you are armed with a bit of these teenage jargons, next time you see your teenager at home lost in the cyberworld, have a quick peek and read, because WTSiWTM (What they say is what they mean).
Anand Mokashi is an IT Lecturer, Consultant and Digital Media Specialist with a passion for all things online. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org