TAMPA – Most parents these days try to monitor their children’s electronic communication in some way, shape or form. But even parents with the most totalitarian levels of oversight might miss some of the warning signs of risky behavior if they don’t know what to look for.
Many teens use shorthand “code” for various phrases or situations, some of which are perfectly innocent while others can be downright dangerous.
Here’s a short list of some of the codes teens have been known to use when communicating via text message or social media:
· Amirite: Am I Right?
· NISM: Need I Say More?
· RME: Rolling My Eyes
· QQ4U: Quick Question For You
· KMP: Keep Me Posted
· 143: I Love You
· CWTCU: Can’t Wait To See You
· PIR: Parent In Room
· POS: Parent Over Shoulder
· GNOC: Get Naked On Camera
· GYPO: Get Your Pants Off
· CU46: See You For Sex
· 9: Parent Watching
· 99: Parent Gone
· CD9: “Code 9”, Parents Around
· 8: Oral Sex
· (L)MIRL: Let’s Meet In Real Life
· WTTP: Want To Trade Pictures?
· KPC: Keeping Parents Clueless
“It is changing so fast and it can be hard for a parent to keep up with it,” said Kelli Burns, an associate professor studying and teaching social media at USF’s Advertising & Mass Communications school. “Sometimes it’s something very innocuous like ‘be right back’, ‘BRB’, or something like that but other times it can be a message with other kinds of content in it.”
These days, parents need to watch much more than just their teens’ text messages.
“Some parents want to check their teens’ texts and see what they’re texting, but it’s really important to be aware of all the places your children are having conversations,” said Burns. “Texting is just the tip of the iceberg. Communication is going on throughout all different kinds of social media platforms so, to just focus on texting is too narrow.
"Parents need to look at Instagram, they need to look at Snapchat, they need to see what else is on the horizon.”
When in doubt, said Burns, parents use Google to search for terms, acronyms or anything else suspected to be code for something dangerous or illegal. She says there are also software platforms that allow parents to monitor everything their teen types into their phone or keyboard.