Chances are you saw this news report that hit the nightly news rounds just before Christmas. I did, and I have to admit that I’m not as savvy as I thought I was when it comes to online lingo.
I’m talking specifically about acronyms—shorthand that is used in text and instant messaging. Sure, I knew the basics: brb is be right back, lol is laughing out loud, btw is by the way.
What I didn’t know was PIR, 99, TDTM, IPN and so many more I can’t list them all here. These mean, respectively: parent in room, parents gone, talk dirty to me, and I’m posting naked. Not exactly the type of communication a parent wants to see, but even more importantly it’s a means of communication that parents can’t ignore.
It’s an education we must ace, because kids don’t just text from home. It’s estimated that 64% of teens with cell phones text during class. Not only is this a matter of paying attention and being respectful during school hours; cyberbullying is also on the rise. A 2010-2011 report says 9% of students in grades 6-12 experienced cyberbullying. A 2013 study found that 15% of high school students were electronically bullied in the past year. And the research for this is just beginning; because technology changes so quickly, and teens are early adopters, it’s difficult to truly capture numbers.
This is a topic that we’ll talk about quite a bit here in this space, because it affects our lives as parents and as educators. I’d like to hear from you. What are your concerns, your observations, and your insights into digital communication among students? What do you want to know?
I’m in the trenches with you, and I want to help. Let’s talk.