Parents: Are these Secret Texting Acronyms on Your Teen’s Phone?

As you would suspect, texting teens have created secret additions to our language.

Some of them like, (LOL) or (IDK) (TTYL) we’re pretty familiar with. But did you know that IWSN” means “I want sex now” or that IPN is “I’m posting naked?” LH6 means “Let’s have sex” and WTTP stands for “Want to trade pictures?”

While some teens text these and say they were only joking (JK), others teasingly use them to see how far their “friend” will go when (99) “parents are gone.” They also hope that parents won’t have a clue about what’s going on (KPC).

A good start for us is knowing what these  mean. Discussing texting terms, if you see them, is an important conversation to have with your son or daughter.

Here are some of the acronyms that some teens use and a few thoughts concerning how to respond:

The List

Various lists have been circulating for a while. (We love to know what teens are doing and try to keep up before they change it all!) Some teens never use any of these and some teens use variations of these. Two sites that try to keep up with this on a regular basis are:  NoSlang.com and NetLingo.com. I borrowed this list from Fox40 News. See how many you are already know:

  1. IWSN – I want sex now
  2. GNOC – Get naked on camera
  3. NIFOC – Naked in front of computer
  4. PIR – Parent in room
  5. 5 CU46 – See you for sex
  1. 53X – Sex
  2. 9 – Parent watching
  3. 99 – Parent gone
  4. 1174′ – Party meeting place
  5. THOT – That hoe over there
  6. CID – Acid (the drug)
  7. Broken – Hungover from alcohol
  8. 420 – Marijuana
  9. POS – Parent over shoulder
  10. SUGARPIC – Suggestive or erotic photo
  11. KOTL – Kiss on the lips
  12. (L)MIRL – Let’s meet in real life
  13. PRON – Porn
  14. TDTM – Talk dirty to me
  15. 8 – Oral sex
  16. CD9 – Parents around/Code 9
  17. IPN – I’m posting naked
  18. LH6 – Let’s have sex
  19. WTTP – Want to trade pictures?
  20. DOC – Drug of choice
  21. TWD – Texting while driving
  22. GYPO – Get your pants off
  23. KPC- Keeping parents clueless

 Who’s using these?

As I talk to students, many of them are shocked by these terms. They don’t use them and wouldn’t recognize them if someone sent them to their phone. Other students know the terms but would never use them. Some know them and are using them to shock of scandalize a someone as a tease. Knowing when it is meant to shock or when it is meant to entice is difficult for a student to recognize.

 Not a Joke

A frank discussion with your son or daughter to shut down a conversation that involves asking them for pictures, or suggesting that they are texting naked should be tied to the use of their phone. Harassment can sometimes begin with talking dirty, making suggestions, or asking someone to strip. If caught and confronted they will normally say “I was only kidding.”

Your son or daughter need to know that if they make these kind of advances or receive these kind of advances it isn’t a joke.

 More Serious than they Know

Parents have contacted me about their daughters being harassed in this way by both girls and boys. Some have played along and it has escalated and the school became involved. Teens need to be aware that this can be very serious.

Another danger is when your teen is purposely trying to use these acronyms to sext with someone without your knowledge. All teens require differing amounts of privacy as they grow toward being an adult. However if your son or daughter is always very secretive concerning the use of their phone it may be necessary to intervene.

 One last thing

I don’t know what rules you have for your teen and their phone. Many parents require the passcode and reserve to right to look at it at any time. It’s the price of the privilege of having the phone. Still, teens will always devise ways to communicate with others in private. As much as is safe, we want to respect that need for privacy. Sadly there are many risks with this form of communication.

We want to trust them and communicate this trust. At the same time,, there are dangers associated with texting that could damage their reputation, their self esteem, their school life. With this much at stake, healthy guidelines and open access to their device should be required.

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Ron Powell

ronpowell

Ron Powell is the Adviser to the Director of the Youth Ministry Institute at Vanguard College. He has been involved in youth ministry for over 30 years. He continues to volunteer, write, teach, and speak to parents, leaders and teens. If you would like to contact him you can email ron.powell@vanguardcollege.com