Cracking the Teen Texting Code
Posted by Tina Sellers
It looks innocent enough, but some of it is no "L-O-L" matter.
Cell phones, computers, texting and instant messaging have sparked an entirely new language many parents may not even be aware of called "text speak" or Internet slang. It's growing in popularity so now it's time for every "P-I-R" or "Parent-In-The-Room" to take a language lesson.
It's a well documented fact that teenagers text thousands of times a day. Sarah Cargill, a high school senior, admits she's big into texting and has been since sixth grade when she got her first cell phone. "Even words like great, g-r-t, I used to shorten all the time," Cargill said.
Ryan Jones said he just couldn't keep up and needed a translator, so he created "No-Slang.com." It started out as his way to stay text-speech savvy.
Five years later, parents around the world log on to figure out what exactly their kids are saying. No-Slang.com features an entire dictionary of slang terms from A-to-Z, from drugs to sexting.
Sara's mother, Holly Cargill, an administrator at a local high school was surprised when she took a look at No-Slang's "Top 25." "I feel like I'm pretty much in the know of what goes on, but some of those things really did surprise me," she said.
"G-N-O-C," Get naked on camera.
"C-U-46," See you for sex.
"A-S-L-P," age, sex, location and picture and other messages even more graphic.
Family therapist Beverly Womack warns this is a real danger zone and parents need to get more involved with their children and discuss the danger and possible consequences. "Talk to these children about what this means and what's going on. Parents need to confront it," Womack said.
Womack welcomes sites like No-Slang because they help parents not only educate themselves, but become more involved. "They will be checking them, they will be monitoring them and supervising them. We're in a whole different world of jargon with the younger generation."
Sarah says she can't even send photos from her phone and mom says nothing is private. "Facebook to email to anything…I think that's priority. Have open communication with your kids so that you know what's going on and they don't feel that they have to hide anything."
So, say you come across a mish-mash of letters and numbers, to the untrained eye it looks like gibberish, but it's called "Elite-Speak." It's easy to understand, if you know the code.
The website we found not only explains how to crack the code, it also has quizzes for parents to test their knowledge and even a list of rejected terms that aren't widely used, but out there just the same.
Click here for more information on "Cracking the Code."