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:

  1. 143 - I love you
  2. 2DAY - Today
  3. 4EAE - Forever and ever
  4. ADN - Any day now
  5. AFAIK - As far as I know
  6. AFK - Away from keyboard
  7. ASL - Age/sex/location
  8. ATM - At the moment
  9. BFN - Bye for now
  10. BOL - Be on later
  11. BRB - Be right back
  12. BTW - By the way
  13. CTN - Can’t talk now
  14. DWBH - Don’t worry, be happy
  15. F2F or FTF - Face to face
  16. FWB - Friends with benefits
  17. FYEO - For your eyes only
  18. GAL – Get a life
  19. GB - Goodbye
  20. GLHF - Good luck, have fun
  21. GTG - Got to go
  22. GYPO - Get your pants off
  23. HAK - Hugs and kisses
  24. HAND - Have a nice day
  25. HTH - Hope this helps / Happy to help
  26. HW - Homework
  27. IDK - I don’t know
  28. IIRC - If I remember correctly
  29. IKR - I know, right?
  30. ILY / ILU - I love you
  31. IM - Instant message
  32. IMHO - In my honest opinion / In my humble opinion
  33. IMO - In my opinion
  34. IRL - In real life
  35. IWSN - I want sex now
  36. IU2U - It’s up to you
  37. IYKWIM - If you know what I mean
  38. J/K - Just kidding
  39. J4F - Just for fun
  40. JIC - Just in case
  41. JSYK - Just so you know
  42. KFY - Kiss for you
  43. KPC - Keeping parents clueless
  44. L8 - Late
  45. LMBO - Laughing my butt off
  46. LMIRL – Let’s meet in real life
  47. LMK - Let me know
  48. LOL - Laugh out loud
  49. LSR - Loser
  50. MIRL - Meet in real life
  51. MOS - Mom over shoulder
  52. NAGI - Not a good idea
  53. NIFOC - Nude in front of computer
  54. NM - Nevermind
  55. NMU - Not much, you?
  56. NP - No problem
  57. NTS - Note to self
  58. OIC - Oh I see
  59. OMG - Oh my God
  60. ORLY - Oh, really?
  61. OT - Off topic
  62. OTP - On the phone
  63. P911 - Parent alert
  64. PAW - Parents are watching
  65. PCM - Please call me
  66. PIR - Parent in room
  67. PLS or PLZ - Please
  68. PPL - People
  69. POS - Parents over shoulder
  70. PTB - Please text back
  71. QQ - Crying. This abbreviation produces an emoticon in text. It’s often used sarcastically.
  72. RAK - Random act of kindness
  73. RL - Real life
  74. ROFL - Rolling on the floor laughing
  75. RT - Retweet
  76. RUOK - Are you okay?
  77. SMH - Shaking my head
  78. SOS - Someone over shoulder
  79. SRSLY - Seriously
  80. SSDD - Same stuff, different day
  81. SWAK - Sealed with a kiss
  82. SWYP - So, what’s your problem?
  83. SYS - See you soon
  84. TBC - To be continued
  85. TDTM -Talk dirty to me
  86. TIME - Tears in my eyes
  87. WYCM - Will you call me?
  88. TMI - Too much information
  89. TMRW - Tomorrow
  90. TTYL - Talk to you later
  91. TY or TU - Thank you
  92. VSF - Very sad face
  93. WB - Welcome back
  94. WTH - What the heck?
  95. WTPA - Where the party at?
  96. WYCM - Will you call me?
  97. YGM - You’ve got mail
  98. YOLO - You only live once
  99. YW - You’re welcome
  100. . 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.