Thousands of parents don’t understand internet slang

A new online poll from BT has found that many parents don’t understand the slang words, acronyms and phrases that their kids may be using online. The poll was conducted for Internet Safety Day 2017, which aims to promote safer practices online.

BT surveyed more than 4,500 adults in the UK to see if theyunderstood some modern, and aging, internet slang. The resultsshowed that a full 85% couldn't correctly identify some of thelingo.

For example, 65% of parents thought the acronym KMS meant 'keepmy secret', when it really means 'kill myself' - usually used injest, rather than a literal suicide threat. Similarly, the majoritydidn't know that '99' means 'parents have stopped watching' andjust 4% knew that MIA was a reference to bulimia.

Emoji also caused problems. For example, more than half ofrespondents didn't know that the monkey with paws over the mouthcould mean 'I won't tell anyone'.

The oldies did, at least, do better with some of the olderslang. More than half of parents knew that '182' means 'I hateyou', 'WTTP' means 'want to trade pictures?' and 'LMIRL' is 'let'smeet in real life'.

The quiz was run to promote awareness of Internet Safety Day,and online safety in general. Pete Oliver, the managingdirector of commercial, marketing and digital at BT said:

""For young people growing up with technology, this new languagecomes naturally, but it's leaving some adults unsure about what isbeing said by their children online. As we mark Safer Internet Day2017, we think it's important for adults to speak to young peopleabout how they use social media and chat online."

Carolyn Bunting, the general manager of charity Internet Mattersadded: "Children's use of the internet is developing at a rapidpace. While it is unrealistic to expect parents to understand everypiece of internet slang their children will ever see, online safetystarts with a conversation.

"It's vital for parents to talk to their kids about theirdigital worlds, including the sorts of things they might experienceonline, and the types of issues to be aware of, from cyberbullyingto privacy."

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