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ASAP, FYI

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by Kay Helbling

[2]“For Your Information”, “As Soon As Possible”. Admit it, we’ve all been using shorthand in our communications for years. But, in the world of instant messaging or text messaging, there’s a whole new language that’s spoken. As parents we can feel technology leaving us in the dust. We are losing touch and that can be a bit unsettling.

We know our children can be connecting with strangers daily through Weblogs, Facebooks, or MySpace. Each of these has their own danger zones that need to be met head-on by parents. But, there’s also the communications that happen hourly between your children and their friends. I’m talking about messaging.

A recent study showed that students who spend more time text messaging than they do on homework lose an entire letter grade in knowledge. We have to curb the amount of use, but it’s also a good idea to periodically check what’s being said. Unfortunately, there is an underground text language so most of us wouldn’t understand what they’re saying. Knowing just a bit of the “code” can give us at least enough information to send up any red flags that may need to be raised.

For example, there’s the language of drugs & drinking. 420 means “let’s get high” or “marijuana”; there’s IGHT for “I got high tonight”; BIBO is “beer in, beer out”; and E is “Ecstasy”.

There’s the language of relationships. MOOS “member of the opposite sex”; BF or BOYF “boy friend”; LH6 or LHSX “let’s have sex”; NIFOC “naked in front of computer”;  PRON “pornography”; TDTM “talk dirty to me”; URH “you are hot”; or here’s a scary one, LMIRL “let’s meet in real life”.

And, there’s the language on parents. CD9 or 9 means “parent is watching”; MOS “mother over shoulder”; P911 or PSOS mean “parents coming into room alert”; or PAW “parents are watching”.

Thankfully the majority of parents have kids who don’t have those sorts of conversations. For them, they can use the new text language to have some fun. Every once in awhile I’ll slip one into a message to my sons— just to see if they respond to the lingo. I love it when they have to ask for a translation. (It never hurts to let them think we are still one step ahead of the game.)

Try these: a simple “?” to let them know you don’t understand; “20” for location; 2G2BT (to good to be true), or if they do/say something great give them a  “^5”  (high-five). They’ll be ROTFLUTS (rolling on floor laughing and unable to speak);

Of course, as moms we can’t miss the opportunity to simply be moms: TAU (thinking about you); TAUMUALU (thinking about you, miss you, always love you), T+ (think positive); T:)T (think happy thoughts), and of course… ST&D (stop texting and drive)!

Now, won’t you look at your cell phone just a little differently?
BOL (best of luck)!

Kay was an insurance adjuster and executive for 15 years, a small business owner and a teacher for 10. But, her most fulfilling work has been as a mother of her two boys. She is now looking forward to an empty nest with her best friend—her husband.

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