Lesson #4 Parents do you know the Chat Room Lingo – LOL SWAK

Kids these days learn far more at an earlier age than their parents. They are introduced to computers in grade school and taught how to navigate the World Wide Web in what seems like no time at all. This is progress and a positive thing, but parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing online at all times.

You might be like other parents who view the computer as a foreign object. It won’t bite you, but it can hurt your kids if you don’t know what they are doing on it. Part of learning about the Internet is just getting online and looking around. Take a class to become more familiar with the computer and cyberspace if that’s what it takes.

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Online, kids have their own language when they talk with friends in chat rooms and on the boards (that’s message boards). Unlike the language they use with their friends every day, the online chat room lingo has a translation. All of those three, four, and five letter abbreviations have meanings that will be shared here.

Why do you need to know them?

As you already know, everyone online is not who they say they are. A certain amount of anonymity can be freeing when communicating online, but it is also a way for predators to get in contact with your child. Learning the lingo makes it easy for them to act like a 14-year old boy and attract a girl even if in reality the person on the other end of your child’s conversation is a 50-year old man.

As a parent, you can also know what your child is saying to their new friends online. Some of the lingo borders on sexually explicit. If your kids have never been exposed to this or the person on the other end shows an interest in them, that lingo can be used to lure them away from home and you.

Lingo, anyone?

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Here are some of the more common abbreviations that kids use:

  • POS – Parent Over Shoulder
  • GAL – Get A Life
  • CYAL8R – See Ya Later
  • LOL – Laughing Out Loud
  • ROFL – Rolling On the Floor Laughing
  • JTLYK – Just To Let You Know
  • ILY – I Love You
  • SWAK – Sealed With A Kiss
  • F2F – Face To Face
  • A/S/L? – Age/Sex/Location?
  • ADN – Any Day Now
  • BF – Boyfriend

There are a host of others and some are quite explicit. The previous list is just to get you started. The last four are interesting because predators sometimes ask for personal meetings and for personal information about your child. They may even consider your child their love interest.

Typing in code can be a deterrent that kids use to keep parents away but don’t let it. They could be getting into more trouble than they realize and you can prevent it by knowing their cyber language.

Andre

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