Parents can’t afford not to be Web savvy

May 30, 2006
The Daily Herald

MySpace, a cool cyber hangout for kids and young adults with more than 60
million members, has opened up a whole new opportunity for the continuing
education of parents everywhere.

Offering personal, searchable profiles, the site is a wildly popular
meeting place for young people interested in sharing the mundane and
sometimes more intimate details of their lives, including photographs and
personal preferences. While the site expressly prohibits children under
the age of 13 from joining, that’s all but impossible to enforce.

Given that the Internet in general has few rules, as well as its own
acronym-filled language and culture, parents would be well served to
spend a bit of time getting up to speed.

We can help by providing a simple vocabulary lesson on Internet language,
starting with a few easy ones that nearly everyone can decipher:

* LOL – laugh out loud
* BRB – be right back
* SWAK – sealed with a kiss

Now for some less obvious acronyms:

* H & K – hug and kiss
*YBS – you’ll be sorry
*SNERT (one of our favorites) – snot nosed egotistical rude teenager

And, finally, a few worthy of at least a raised parental eyebrow:

* WGTP – want to go private?
* KOL – kiss on lips
* POS – parent over shoulder
* A/S/L – age, sex, location
* LMIRL – let’s meet in real life
* IPN – I’m posting naked

By knowing at least some of the language, parents can be better prepared
to seize those golden opportunities for coaching and communication. By
establishing age-appropriate boundaries and reminding kids to avoid
giving out personal details online, these types of Web sites can remain a
great tool for discovery and expression.

With one in five children sexually solicited online, parents should never
assume that this is FMTYEWTK – far more than you ever wanted to know.

Copyright 2006, The Daily Herald Co., Everett, Wash.

Leave a Reply