If you are raising a teen or a soon to be teen, or if you simply have a human in your life who’s in the middle of those challenging years—a nephew, niece, or the child of a friend—there are some things you need to know. In the fast-moving culture in which we live, there are new minefields popping up that many of us are unaware of as we go about our daily life. This is one of those that, for me, I thought I knew a bit about. But the breadth of this data shook the foundation of what I thought I knew.
In the wake of a recent study by Common Sense Media, it’s become the norm that teens prefer to text their friends rather than talk in person.
With that in mind, I wanted to share some important data I also discovered, an analysis of teen texting codes performed by Brian Bason, CEO of Bark. The organization he heads is a safety app that parents and teens can download that monitors sites and services teens use. The purpose of the app is to look for red flag words and the context they’re using them in.
After analyzing some 10-million teen messages per month across 21 different platforms including text, email, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, he came up with what I think are some terrifying results.
For the benefit of all concerned adults, they compiled a list of the top “sneaky” terms that teens use:
• 53X = sneaky way to type “sex”
• KMS = kill myself
• LH6 = let’s have sex
• KYS = kill yourself
• MOS = mom over shoulder
• POS = parent over shoulder
• CD9 = code 9, parents around
• GNOC = get naked on camera
• 99 = parents are gone
• WTTP = want to trade photos?
• LMIRL = let’s meet in real life
• 1174 = meet at a party spot
• IWSN = I want sex now
• CU46 = see you for sex
• FWB = friends with benefits
• ADR = what’s your address
• MPFB = my personal f*** buddy
• PAL = parents are listening
• TWD = texting while driving
• GYPO = get your pants off
That’s the current list, but I’m sure there will be more in the near future. Keeping up with texting lingo can be a chore, but there are resources available to you, so use them.
As one who cares about what teens are saying to one another, we need to be aware. The teen in your life may not be the one texting these codes, but they may very well be subject to receiving them. Whether or not you think the teen you care about would ever become involved in this type of conversation, be armed and ready. You never know when he or she is going to need you to know the “sneaky text” lingo, even if they act like they don’t want you to know.
As one who cares about what teens are saying to one another, we need to be aware.