Online terms every parent needs to know

online terms

From “AFAIK” to “Woke”; these are the most popular online terms used by young people and what they mean. 

The online world is fast-paced and ever-changing. So much so, that trying to keep up with it can sometimes feel impossible.

This cheat sheet is designed to help you get to grips with some of the most popular online terms that may be unfamiliar to you. 

AFAIK: As far as I know.

Basic: A term used to describe someone who is only interested in trendy or popular things.

BTW: By the way.

CBA: Can’t be arsed.

DMing: Simply put “DMing” just means chatting privately with someone. DM itself stands for “direct message” and originally referred to the private chat function on Twitter. 

Doomscrolling: The act of consuming a large quantity of negative online news at once

Extra: Describes over-dramatic behaviour. 

Facetuning: The editing of photos (particularly selfies) to make the person seem more beautiful, often to unrealistic standards.

Finsta: Short for a “Fake Instagram”, it refers to an account made so that a user can post images and interact with other accounts in a more private way, usually reserving the account’s followers to close friends.

FOMO: Fear of missing out.

Ghosting: A term that originated in dating, ghosting someone means suddenly ignoring all their messages. It can be seen as a way of breaking up with someone without actually telling them.

GOAT: Greatest of all time. 

Grooming: Building a relationship or emotional connection with a child or young person by an older person so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.

Hacking: The gaining of unauthorized access to data in a system, computer or account.

IDEK: I don’t even know.

IMO: In my opinion.

IRL: In real life.

Left me on read: Opening a message but not responding.

Livestream: A live transmission of an event like a concert over the internet. 

MSM: Mainstream media. (Note: This can also mean men who have sex with men.)

NSFW: Not safe for work. This is generally a warning placed on content that may have foul language, violence, sex or anything you wouldn’t be comfortable watching if your colleagues or family were around. 

Revenge Porn: The public sharing of a nude photograph or video of someone without their consent to humiliate them.

Salty: To be bitter about something or someone. 

Sexting: The sending of sexually explicit messages or photos.

Sharenting: The overuse of social media by parents to share content based on their children, such as baby pictures or details of their children’s activities.

SJW: Social justice warrior. A person who expresses or promotes a socially-progressive view. In the past few years this term has tended to be used in a derogative way.

Squad: A friend group.

Streaming: Any media content delivered to computers and mobile devices via the internet and played back in real-time. Examples include podcasts, movies, TV shows and webcasts.

TBH: To be honest.

TBQH: To be quite honest.

Tea: Gossip.

Thirsty: Desperately wanting something or someone. 

Throwing shade: To be mean about someone. 

Troll: Someone who deliberately says something controversial or inflammatory in order to get a rise out of others.

Woke: Aware and up to date with social issues. In the past few years this term has tended to be used in a derogative way.

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