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Social media dictionary: What your kids are really saying

Feel like your kids are speaking another language? We understand and we’re here to help!

Thanks (THX) social media slang |

When it comes to social media, there’s a lot to talk about. From what happens on the various websites to the various words kids will use when talking on or about those sites, it can sometimes feel like learning about social media is much like learning a second language. Let’s just break it down.

Where and how it all goes down


Note: Keep an eye on the pictures they’re posting, though.

This is probably the one you’re most familiar with, right? Facebook is a great way to share their comings and goings and see what everyone else is up to. As long as they’re only “friending” people they actually know and keeping their privacy settings locked down, they should be safe.

Words associated with Facebook:

  • To Friend/Unfriend: If tears are spilled because Reagan unfriended Madison, it just means they’re no longer connected on Facebook. When a person adds a new friend on the site, the person is “friending” the person.
Note: Cyberbullying is especially bad on Twitter. The minute someone says something another doesn’t like, they (and their friends) will unleash their full fury. It gets ugly.

By posting on Twitter, kids are logging or sharing what they do on a sometimes minute-by-minute basis, but they only have 140 characters to do so. You wouldn’t think you could do much with only 140 characters, but you can.

Words associated with Twitter:

  • Tweet: The act of posting something on Twitter.
  • Follow/Following/Followers: Applicable to most sites, to follow someone means you’re monitoring their posts. If you’re following Taylor Swift’s Twitter account, you’re one of her followers. (The term is used on most other sites as well.)
  • RT: Stands for “Retweet.” If someone says something particularly funny on Twitter, their followers have the option to retweet, or repost it, to all of their friends. (Other sites might call it “sharing.”)


Note: If they follow the wrong person, they could be subjected to some graphic images. It’s cool that Tumblr allows its users to express themselves, but younger kids need to be monitored.

This is a really cool way for teens to blog (or journal) about their feelings on life, music, movies, etc. Not only can they post long-winded text posts, but they can also post audio, video and pictures. The other Tumblr accounts they follow all show up on their “dash” that is similar to Facebook’s newsfeed setup.

Words associated with Tumblr:

  • Followers: Same as Twitter
  • Reblog: Exactly like RTing or sharing, users can reblog cool Tumblr posts.

Photo and video sharing


Note: We all know there are always consequences. Many have found ways around the system and have saved photos after all. Uh-oh.

This should be avoided at all costs. The idea is simple. Take a picture on your phone, add a message or doodle and send it to a friend. The picture will show for several seconds and is then wiped from the person’s phone and the Snapchat server. It pretty much gives kids the idea that they can take inappropriate pictures of themselves without facing any consequences.


Note: Obviously, you’ll want to stalk them and make sure they’re not posting anything inappropriate.

As long as your kids and their friends aren’t too mischievous, Instagram is fairly innocent. It’s just a picture-sharing website where they can take a snap from their cellphones and post it on their personal site so their followers can see their collection of pictures.

Words associated with Instagram:

  • Filter: Just the fancy way Instagram refers to choosing various color edits on photos that are posted to the site.


Note: Just remind kids that once they put it out, it’s always there.

Vine is relatively new but fairly cool. It allows users to post super short videos, usually of something incredibly silly.

The lingo

Now, what the heck are they saying on there?

A/S/L/P: Age/Sex/Location/Picture (Not used often, but if you see this sent to your kid, it means they’re talking to a stranger.)

AMA: Ask me anything

BAMF: Bada** motherf***er

Because Reasons: There are many reasons, there are no reasons or the reasons are embarrassing

BRB/BBL: Be right back/Be back later

BFE: Butt F***ing Egypt or Bum F***ing Egypt (refers to the middle of nowhere)

BFF/BFFN: Best friends forever/Best friends for now

BTW/BTdubs: By the way

Def/Def-o: Definitely

DGAF: Don’t give a f***

FB: Facebook

JK: Just kidding

Lulz/LOL/Loz: Laugh out loud

NM: Nothing much or never mind

Natch: Naturally

Noob/n00b/Newbie: Someone new to something (usually a game) or someone who seems new, even if the person is not.

NP: No problem

OMG/OMFG: Oh, my (f***ing) God

PLZ: Please

PM: Private message (DM for direct message on Twitter)

Rando: Random person

ROFL(MAO): Rolling on the floor laughing (my a** off)

Sok: It’s OK

Sup: What’s up?

Sux: Sucks

STFU: Shut the f*** up

TMI: Too much information

TY: Thank you

UR/Urz: You are or Yours

Woot: We own the other team (Though, it’s pretty much the equivalent of saying, “Yay!”)

WTF: What the f***

YOLO: You only live once

Can’t memorize all that? Fear not! That’s what bookmarks are for. And if you don’t see it on the list, Google always has the answer.

More on social media and your kids

Is your teen inappropriate on Facebook?
7 Tips for Facebook parents
Are you raising a narcissist?

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