Of course no one likes actual rats, but since we have social-media-savvy tweens and teens, we do need to Recognize Acronyms and Text Shorthand (RATS is my creative acronym, not the nasty rodent). Could you spot a good acronym if you saw it? No, not LOL. I mean one that adolescents use with each other (FYI LOL is DOA with teens). Take this quick quiz to see how many acronyms or shorthand symbols you recognize (the answers are at the end of this post).
How do you think you did? Could you spot them in a text and know what they mean? I borrowed these from a website called NetLingo.com. Click here for the thorough list of chat acronyms and text shorthand. If your child uses odd letters and numbers in texts and chat messages, then this list will solve the mystery of the message. Get ready…it’s a long list and if you are like me you’ll shake you head at the lengths some will go to come up with certain words so they don’t have to type it out. You will also be shocked at the foul language and sexual innuendoes that have acronyms. They are horribly inappropriate! SMH!
Here are 3 reasons why we, as parents, need to watch out for odd combinations of letters and numbers within texts and chat messages:
1) Our kids could be victims of bullying or they could be bullying others.
2) They could be dealing with pressure from their boyfriend/girlfriend to do something they shouldn’t do. They could also be the ones pressuring the boyfriend/girlfriend.
3) They are making bad choices with drugs, alcohol, child groomers or simply using inappropriate language that is not inline with your family values. The reasons vary in degree from family to family.
Granted, most of the acronyms and shorthand are light-hearted and innocent so 9 times out of 10 there is no reason for alarm. However, as a parent with a tween or teen, we need to have all the information we can get to keep our head above the water when it comes to social media.
Quiz your kids to see how many they know. My guess is they won’t know all of them but they are so used to seeing acronyms that they can figure them out quickly. *WARNING: many of them are inappropriate.
Let us know how you did on the quiz in the comments!
Answers to the quiz: 1) Don’t Do Anything Stupid; 2) parent is watching; 3) What Are You Doing At The Moment; 4) age/sex/location; 5) Be There Or It’s Your A** (sorry for that one but I wanted to give an example of the language that bullies could be using with other kids).
The list: Reproduced by Permission © 1994-2013 NetLingo® The Internet Dictionary at http://www.netlingo.com – See more at: http://www.netlingo.com/legal/copyright.php#sthash.am2G49p7.dpuf
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