Parents should 'know the code'

Teens have developed their own language for texting, social media

(WJXT) -- Teens have developed their own, online language when it comes to texting and connecting on social media, so they can communicate without their parents knowing what's being said. Acronyms are used on social media apps and text messaging, and some can be pretty explicit and racy,

For example, WYCM stands for "Will you call me?" PAW means "Parents are watching." Some may seem harmless but others are more dangerous, like CU46 means "See you for sex" and GNOC means "Get naked on cam."

Those are only a few of about 20,000 new words and abbreviations social media experts say your kids are likely using to communicate with each other.

WJXT-TV spoke with five teenagers, ages 14 and 15, to find out what they know of this private language.

"What is the average age or grade for kids to get phones nowadays," WJXT asked the group.
"Seventh grade," 14-year-old Emma said.

Of the eighth, ninth and 10th graders, most say they were given their first cell phone when they were about 10 years old in order to communicate with their parents. All of their parents know there's "texting talk," but they may not realize just how explicit the vocabulary has become.

IWS means "I want sex" TDTM means "talk dirty to me," 420 is code for "marijuana," but one really disturbed the parents of the teenagers WJXT spoke with: LMIRL, which stands for "Let's meet in real life."

"It's scary. We have to be informed. I have two teenage boys. I need to know what's going on to better parent," said Jennifer, a mom.

"You know you've got to continuously try to stay up to date on this junk that is bombarding our children," said Debbie, also a parent.

"Just scary, oblivious to the secret language, just oblivious," said Bill. "And that's nowhere a parent should be."

The parents of these kids were relieved, however, to learn their children didn't know many of the texting acronyms. But, this group of teenagers was eager to discuss something else.

"Does everybody agree texting is the most popular?" WJXT asked.

"No," said the teens.

Holly, who's 15 years old, said probably the most popular are "Kik" and "Snapchat."

And the teens added that connecting with friends on social media dominates their phone usage. But it can be dangerous, because they get approached by strangers a lot.

"I have a friend that she has 'Kik' and she'll have like 30 messages from guys she doesn't even know," said Reece, who's 15 years old.

"The typical parent says that their greatest fear is that the child will be contacted by stranger online," said Brian Housman, a parenting and youth counselor with techsavvyparenting.com. "And it's a well-warranted fear because over 80 percent of teenagers admit to having conversations with strangers online. Of those 80 percent, 18 percent of them set up a face-to-face meeting in public with that stranger. "

Housman travels and writes full time, helping equip and encourage parents as they raise their children, often helping them navigate through the technology that's captivated millennials since the creation of smartphones and social media sites.

"The average teenager now spends 9 1/2 hours a day plugged in," said Housman.

He says keeping an honest and open relationship with your child is key. The social media expert has guided scores of parents and their children through the world of technology.

With two teenagers of his own, Housman says good communication with your child will help you keep up with the newest and latest websites.

"One of the top five social media apps the teenagers are using now is called 'After School,'" Housman said. "I've yet to meet a single parent who's even heard of the app. So it just goes to show that we think we know was happening but it happens so much quicker than we can keep up with his parents."

Every child is different, and by just asking them, you can learn a lot.

"Parent need to be more protective of their girl children, because there is a lot more male predators out there," said 14-year-old Dean.

And 15-year-old Holly says getting her phone at age 10 was just too soon. Why?

"Because I wasn't mature enough to have a cell phone," she said. "Because just that age. You don't know what's going to happen."

Below are more codes teens are using on their phones. Keep in mind some of the lingo is explicit, but these are terms teens are using and they don't want parents to know:

TDTM - Talk dirty to me
S2R - Send to receive
NIFOC - Naked in front of computer
SorG - Straight or gay?
JO - Jerk off
PAW - Parents are watching
PIR - Parents in room
POS - Parents over shoulder
YWS - You want sex?
WYCM - Will you call me?
RU18 - Are you 18?
CD9/Code 9 - Parent/Adult around
LMIRL - Let's meet in real life
ASLP - Age, sex, location, photo
PRON - Porn
420 - Marijuana
TINA- Crystal Meth
XTC - Ecstacy
8 - Oral sex
143 - I love you
CU46 - See you for sex
DUM - Do you masturbate?
GNOC - Get naked on cam
GYPO - Get your pants off
GNRN - Get naked right now
IWS - I want sex
RUH - Are you horny?
AQB - Alcohol on board
BWKOTL - Big wet kiss on the lips
F2F - Face to face
I12CU - I want to see you
Jst4U - Just for you
MYMU - Make your mind up
MorF - Male or female?
6ual - Sexual
S2Bx - Soon-to-be ex
U@? - Where are you?
W4U - Waiting for you
WYRN - What's your real name?