Keeping your kids safe online – slang every parent should know

Written By: HockeyGod

Do you know what your kids are up to online? Of course you do! Youve blocked all the porn sites, set up filters, and even have a monitoring program to let you know if your kids are talking about sex, or porn, or meeting up uncle bob from the chat room. Youre a smart parent, but you probably have no idea what your kids are up to online.

Theres a new trend popular among teenage chatters, and your filters wont pick up any of it. Its called l33tspeak, netspeak or just plain internet slang (leet speak from the word elite). You know what Im talking about. Acronyms like lol wtf bbiab and nm. Today’s kids are also lazy, and use single letter words: U replaces you, R replaces are, o replaces oh, m replaces am etc

Less popular, but still widely used (especially in games) is true l33tspeak, which involves using numbers instead of letters. 4 replaces A, 3 replaces E, 7 replaces T 1 replaces L, and $ replaces S. These are just a few examples, some of it is worse like // and // , or 13 instead of B.

Todays kids are taking their creativity to the internet, and its affecting the way they speak. Kid’s (just like computer programmers) don’t like to type alot, so they try to shorten their keystrokes whenever possible. It’s not only affecting the way they speak, it’s starting to affect the way they write. So bad in fact, that school teachers have even reported seeing lol (laughing out loud) turn up on hand-written papers. (How would you pronounce that?)

Many kids as old as 17 dont know the difference between homonyms such as there, their, and theyre. Hell, there arent too many 17 year olds left who can even spell h-o-m-o-n-y-m anymore, and no it isnt spelled with an i. Remember when your high school teachers used to complain about a comma splice? Today’s high school teachers are struggling to teach kids how to spell, and instant messaging isn’t helping.

If youre concerned about your kids, its absolutely crucial you learn to understand their language. Your filters may pick up porn, but do they catch the word pron? What about warez, which is short for illegally obtained software.

Another key phrase is the word PAW, short for parents are watching. Every parent should be familiar with this term. Can you think of a non-naughty use for that sentence? I cant.

Sure you blocked porn sites, but what about Google image search? Any teenager can tell you that online image searches are the best free porn sites ever. Go ahead, Try It Just type in anything remotely dirty and see what you get.

So what can you do? Talk to your kids. Get your own copy of AOL Instant Messenger and put their names on your buddy list. Read their profiles, youll be surprised what you find in there.

Need to find out what theyre up to? Try typing their screen name, email address, name, or cell phone number into Google and see what pops up. I guarantee youll find your son or daughters picture, email address, and tons of should be private information about them listed on sites like hotornot.com, buddypic.com, facebattle.com, facethejury.com, or facebook.com

Does your son or daughter have a livejournal or a blog? If so do you read it? You probably should. Theres nothing wrong with reading their diary if theyre posting it on the internet. Thousands of other people are reading it. How much personal information are they giving to complete strangers? You’ll be suprised.

The concerned parent can visit Noslang.com to learn more about internet slang.

About the Author

HockeyGod is a professional web developer and copywriter who dabbles in search engine optimization and the internet culture. He maintains a variety of sites, including his own portfolio at htp://www.thehockeygod.com

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