By Sarah Martin Hood
OMG! LOL! What in the heck is the difference between a Reply and a Retweet? How do you even begin to keep up?
You’ve come to the right place. Though I have to break it to you – this is only the tip of the iceberg…
The Stuff Every Cool Mama (Parent!) Should Know
- Tweet: Message viewable by all your “followers”. Limited to 140 characters. Users can send unlimited Tweets.
- Retweet: (abbreviated “RT”) Means to repost what someone else has already tweeted. Essentially, this is like a copy/paste of a Tweet you like. It shows up in your Twitter feed like this: RT @svmomsgroup: DeepSouthMoms: One Proud Mama http://bit.ly/aHu7XV
- Reply: (shows up with the @ symbol) Means you are sending a public reply to another Tweeter. It shows up in their feed and yours like this: @AndrewMurrayX Their song was on Parenthood a few weeks ago!
- Direct Message: (Or DM) Means you’ve sent a private reply or message to another Tweeter. You are only able to DM those that are following you.
- Wall: This is the most highly trafficked area of a user’s profile – on a friend’s wall is where you would write messages or comment on statuses/photos/links.
- Status: Similar to a Tweet. Status Updates have very few rules. Users can make a quick comment about anything and everything – from what they’re currently doing to lyrics from a favorite song to a link to a funny video. Unlike Twitter, Facebook status updates are not limited to 140 characters.
- “Friend”/”Unfriend”: The act of adding (or removing) someone from your list of friends on Facebook. Only “friends” are able to see your entire profile, photos, etc.
Facebook vs. Twitter:
- Facebook creates a network of people you KNOW. It is most commonly used to “keep up” with friends and family and coworkers and classmates that are either geographically far away or – like all of us – lead otherwise very busy lives that sometimes make keeping in touch difficult. Facebook contacts are called FRIENDS. Facebook is constantly adding features to allow users to communicate via photos and videos and links, etc. to truly keep in touch with friends and family.
- Twitter, on the other hand, is more about networking with people and organizations you don’t necessarily know personally. Twitter contacts are called FOLLOWERS. And you have two separate lists of contacts with Twitter. Those that follow you – and those that you follow. These are often different. For example, I follow news outlets like @CNN and @wholehogsports and @ENews because they offer information that I want to know. But they don’t necessarily follow ME – because I don’t necessarily offer information they want to know… See? Twitter is a much more passive program – allowing you to more periodically check in on the Tweeters you follow.
(I won’t tell anyone if you print this out and use it as a cheat sheet. As far as I’m concerned, you’re still a cool Mom.)
More and more teens and tweens have cellphones and are communicating with their parents and each other by texting. Texting has outpaced talking on phones for the next generation of cell users. It’s how they communicate! You should be able to crack the code. Here are some of the more popular acronyms being used in texting and chat rooms:
- PIR – Parent In Room
- PAW – Parents Are Watching
- 420 – Marijuana
- KPC – Keeping Parents Clueless
- LMIRL – Let’s Meet in Real Life
- HB – Hurry Back
- DIKU – Do I Know You?
- ALAP – As Late As Possible
- AEAP – As Early As Possible
- KOTL – Kiss On The Lips
- 459 – I Love You
- 182 – I Hate You
- NALOPKT – Not A Lot Of People Know That
- RU/18 – Are You Over 18?
- WYRN – What’s Your Real Name?
You can find the full list of the “Top 50 Internet Acronyms Parents Need to Know” at www.netlingo.com. Warning: It’s a little graphic.
The world is moving faster than ever and our kids seem to be constantly exposed to fun new ways to communicate. Be sure you stay as “connected” as possible and know enough to be dangerous!
Have a question about some newfangled thing your kids are into? Need help decoding their recent jargon? Or want to see a ‘How To’ on a website you’ve thought about trying? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll see what I can do!