The popular Internet acronyms and terms kids use changes so often, as a parent it can be hard to keep up. And with a lot more screen time in our kids’ futures (at least while we’re all practicing social distancing), it’s especially important to know what’s happening in their online lives. To help, we’ve rounded up some common terms and practices that you might see popping up in your kids’ chats online and IRL (in real life).
(Thanks to our sister site, PTOtoday.com, for compiling and sharing this list!)
A hashtag used to identify (and often glorify) posts about self-harm habits, such as cutting and burning; users also share tricks on how to keep these behaviors hidden.
“Before anyone else”; a term of affection for a significant other or crush.
A message that gets erased after a set period of time.
Using a fake profile or pretending to be someone else (or both) to get a target to share personal information or become romantically involved.
When a group of people gang up on someone else via social media.
Awkward, cringe-inducing photos; these can be used as blackmail and/or be uploaded to public forums.
A secondary Instagram account, often set up under an alias, for posts someone wants only a small group of friends (and often, not parents) to see. “Finsta” comes from “fake Instagram”; “rinsta” is used to describe a “real Instagram” account.
Sending angry, rude, or obscene messages to a person, either publicly or privately.
When someone cuts off communication with another person without an explanation. Can apply to phone calls, texting, email, and social media.
An extreme form of bullying; physical assaults are recorded, then sent to others or posted online.
A term for a person who’s new to a multiplayer online game or other Internet activity and doesn’t know how to use it well. Also spelled newb, n00b, nob, noob, or nub.
When a gamer quits after an angry scene directed at other players; it often results from being purposely provoked by the other players.
Using sexual images to blackmail, humiliate, or get revenge on someone.
Sending a large number of text messages to a person at one time so that they can’t use their device.
Someone who deliberately makes an inflammatory post or purposely shares misleading information to get other people to respond emotionally.
Adapted from dictionaries of Internet acronyms and terms compiled by the Cyberbullying Research Center and Common Sense Education.