The Secret Language of Teens: 100 Text and Social Media Acronyms

Teenage girl smiling as she looks at her phone
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If you've ever glanced at your teen's conversations over text or you've seen how she chats on social media, there's a good chance that you sometimes have no idea what she's talking about. Social media acronyms and abbreviations can feel like another whole language.

But it's important to learn what some of that shorthand means. Monitoring your teen's online activity won't be helpful if you can't understand what your teen is saying. You might allow unhealthy conversations to take place right in front of you.

While you don't want to spy on your teen, it is important to stay up-to-date on your teen's social media and smartphone activity. Educate yourself about the most common social media acronyms and slang so you can be aware of the conversations your teen is having.

Social Media and Text Acronyms to Know

Here are the most common social media acronyms teens are using to communicate with one another:

  • 143 - I love you
  • 2DAY - Today
  • 4EAE - Forever and ever
  • ADN - Any day now
  • AFAIK - As far as I know
  • AFK - Away from keyboard
  • ASL - Age/sex/location
  • ATM - At the moment
  • BFN - Bye for now
  • BOL - Be on later
  • BRB - Be right back
  • BTW - By the way
  • CTN - Can’t talk now
  • DWBH - Don’t worry, be happy
  • F2F or FTF - Face to face
  • FWB - Friends with benefits
  • FYEO - For your eyes only
  • GAL – Get a life
  • GB - Goodbye
  • GLHF - Good luck, have fun
  • GTG - Got to go
  • GYPO - Get your pants off
  • HAK - Hugs and kisses
  • HAND - Have a nice day
  • HTH - Hope this helps / Happy to help
  • HW - Homework
  • IDK - I don’t know
  • IIRC - If I remember correctly
  • IKR - I know, right?
  • ILY / ILU - I love you
  • IM - Instant message
  • IMHO - In my honest opinion / In my humble opinion
  • IMO - In my opinion
  • IRL - In real life
  • IWSN - I want sex now
  • IU2U - It’s up to you
  • IYKWIM - If you know what I mean
  • J/K - Just kidding
  • J4F - Just for fun
  • JIC - Just in case
  • JSYK - Just so you know
  • KFY - Kiss for you
  • KPC - Keeping parents clueless
  • L8 - Late
  • LMBO - Laughing my butt off
  • LMIRL – Let’s meet in real life
  • LMK - Let me know
  • LOL - Laugh out loud
  • LSR - Loser
  • MIRL - Meet in real life
  • MOS - Mom over shoulder
  • NAGI - Not a good idea
  • NIFOC - Nude in front of computer
  • NM - Nevermind
  • NMU - Not much, you?
  • NP - No problem
  • NTS - Note to self
  • OIC - Oh I see
  • OMG - Oh my God
  • ORLY - Oh, really?
  • OT - Off topic
  • OTP - On the phone
  • P911 - Parent alert
  • PAW - Parents are watching
  • PCM - Please call me
  • PIR - Parent in room
  • PLS or PLZ - Please
  • PPL - People
  • POS - Parents over shoulder
  • PTB - Please text back
  • QQ - Crying. This abbreviation produces an emoticon in text. It’s often used sarcastically.
  • RAK - Random act of kindness
  • RL - Real life
  • ROFL - Rolling on the floor laughing
  • RT - Retweet
  • RUOK - Are you okay?
  • SMH - Shaking my head
  • SOS - Someone over shoulder
  • SRSLY - Seriously
  • SSDD - Same stuff, different day
  • SWAK - Sealed with a kiss
  • SWYP - So, what’s your problem?
  • SYS - See you soon
  • TBC - To be continued
  • TDTM -Talk dirty to me
  • TIME - Tears in my eyes
  • WYCM - Will you call me?
  • TMI - Too much information
  • TMRW - Tomorrow
  • TTYL - Talk to you later
  • TY or TU - Thank you
  • VSF - Very sad face
  • WB - Welcome back
  • WTH - What the heck?
  • WTPA - Where the party at?
  • WYCM - Will you call me?
  • YGM - You’ve got mail
  • YOLO - You only live once
  • YW - You’re welcome
  • ZOMG - Oh my God (sarcastic)

Set Healthy Limits

Understanding the online language of teens is just one step in ensuring online safety. Create social media policies and establish cellphone rules that will reduce your teen's risk of engaging in unhealthy behavior, like sexting.

Educate your teen about the dangers of online activity. Ongoing conversations about the dangers, combined with regular monitoring, will increase the chances that your teen will stay safe on social media and the internet at large.

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Article Sources
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  1. KidsHealth from Nemours. Screen Time Guidelines for Teens

  2. KidsHealth from Nemours. Internet Safety. Updated April 2018.