Do you know Digispeak?
The Internet and smart screens are a part of every day life now and are set to remain that way. But do you know what your youngsters are talking about on them?
Last week on our regular slot with Pearl FM we had a bit of a quiz with Jeff to see just how much digitalk he understood. We will put up the recording of the show soon so you can hear how he did (it’s harder than you might think – as Jeff demonstrates!!) As social media platforms and chat apps are becoming the preferred medium of communication for our young ones, they are also developing their own language.
I am sure many of you have looked at a social media conversation and thought ‘what on earth are they talking about’ – it may have read something like this;
‘I am so broken do u wnt 2 meet at the 1174 l8r? LMK K? C u l8r’
I know that I wouldn’t have had a clue what they were talking about – there may also have been a few smiley faces and thumbs up or some sad faces interspersed too. These are called emoticons and are a visual way of conveying how you are feeling. Much like the word ‘Googling’ was never a part of the English language, digitalk is set to, in some people’s opinion, destroy the English language altogether. Speaking in short hand, using one letter where there should be three and three letters instead of three whole words is a new phenomenon that has crept into our lives – I am inclined to put quite a lot of the blame on Twitter for that one, as their 140 character limit means that you have to be very precise. I have to hold my hand up and say that I have resorted to using ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ on there – so I can see how this has happened.
What’s worrying though, is that as the digital natives continue to forge ahead and integrate technology seamlessly into their lives, we as the digital dinosaurs are constantly trying to keep our head above water and not become extinct. However, as we start to get our head around Facebook and what it’s for, they have introduced a new ‘code’ or language that means even though we now know what the platform is and how to get on it, we have no idea what is being said on it!!!
So as we discussed on the show, here are some visuals to help you get to grips with what might be being said. Our core focus is and always will be to open and keep open the communication channels between parents and children. Especially when it comes to online. The following acronyms and their meanings are meant for you as parents to take note of and be aware of. If you see some of them on your children’s conversations in passing, some of them may be a big red flag where you need to open a dialogue and find out why your teenage daughter is sending WTTP (Want To Trade Pictures) to someone!!