From LOL to OMG...it’s a WTH world out there!
There are very few people in America today who do not text. Teenagers, in particular, are heavy texters and masters of social media.
Here are some figures:
- 88 percent of teens have a cell phone
- 92 percent of teens go online every day
- US teens send an average of 30 texts per day
- Teen girls send an average of 40 texts per day and older teen girls send an average of 50 texts per day ... at least the stats say it’s 50. From what I have seen, it SEEMS like 50,000!!!
If you have ever taken a look at your child’s texts (and I recommend that parents with children under of the age of 18 examine them regularly and closely monitor online and electronic usage and engagement), you will notice what can easily be seen as an odd, indecipherable language consisting of random letters strung together in what appears to be a haphazard way. You might also see a lot of funny cartoons of round smiling faces, animals, and other images.
What is all this madness, you say? Good question.
It’s Text Message Speak. Simply put, Text Message Speak (TMS) short hands and abbreviates words and phrases to make writing on a small mobile screen fast and easy. TMS has found its way into advertising, TV dialogue, music, and common, everyday speech. We’ve all heard LMAO and WTF. I’ve even heard four year olds use OMG. Your middle schooler or teenager is using it EVERY DAY. It’s important to know at least some, if not all, of these abbreviations. By the way, most are utterly harmless and actually quite clever.
Here’s a helpful link for texting acronyms, for parents.
Emojis are small digital icons used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication. These picture characters are tiny cartoon-like drawings first introduced in Japan in 1995. Emojis are used to illustrate emotions. They can be smiley faces, cute animals, objects, indicators of weather, flowers, and are often see in text messages. Again, these are not normally something to worry about. However, awareness and knowledge are important tools in any parent's’ arsenal.
Parenting is not easy. It’s like an Olympic endurance sport that requires moms and dads to be on their toes at all times. It also requires a great deal of support. At Foundations Counseling we are here to help you navigate the rewarding, wonderful, amazing, difficult, and sometimes confusing parenting terrain.