The acronyms teens really use on social media

anderson cooper reporters notebook being 13 ac_00023108
anderson cooper reporters notebook being 13 ac_00023108

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Story highlights

  • CNN Special Report #Being13 analyzed 150,000 social media posts of 13-year-olds
  • Acronyms or slang teens used ranged from innocent to racy

Kelly Wallace is CNN's digital correspondent and editor-at-large covering family, career and life. Read her other columns, and follow her reports at CNN Parents and on Twitter.

(CNN)For the sake of this story, I'd like to invent a new acronym: IAVS, which means, "I am very sorry."

The reason for the apology stems from a story I wrote last year, "28 Internet acronyms every parent should know."
    "Wouldn't it be interesting to do a piece on the acronyms that teens are using across the Internet, especially on social media and apps, to help parents understand what, in fact, their kids are talking about?" I thought.
    I consulted existing lists of Internet acronyms and talked with Internet safety experts. It seemed fine -- until the story published and I received a wildly critical response on social media, often with language that I can't include here.
    My Twitter feed blew up with people saying I didn't know what I was talking about and that teens weren't using most of the acronyms on my list.
    Here's why I'm sorry: For that story, I never consulted with the true experts -- teens, themselves.
    I'm thankful to have a chance for a re-do, and this time I know we'll get it right because our list comes straight from the social media posts of 13-year-olds around the country.
    As part of a two-year investigation, #Being13: Inside the Secret World of Teens, Anderson Cooper and his "AC360°" team connected with 200 eighth-graders at eight different schools around the United States. They, along with their parents and schools, gave CNN and two child-development experts permission to review what they were posting on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook over a six-month period.
    The end result: 150,000 posts written by 13-year-olds. They speak volumes about how teens communicate and what impact social media has on their lives. (The CNN Special Report "#Being13: Inside the Secret World of Teens" airs at 9 p.m. ET Monday. Watch to find out the results of the first large-scale study of its kind on teens and social media.)
    So what better way to know what acronyms and other shorthand teens, or in this case, 13-year-olds, use on social media than to scan their posts? Here are some of the more popular acronyms and sayings, from the innocent to the racy.
    1. OOTD - Outfit of the day
    2. KOTD - Kicks of the day -- Typically refers to sneakers
    3. HMU - Hit me up -- Usually asking for someone's Snapchat username, a phone number to text or for a direct message
    4. Smash - I would have sex with you -- A girl might post a provocative picture and a boy might write "smash."
    5. Cook session - When one or several teens gang up on another kid on social media
    6. TBH - To be honest -- A teen might post a picture of himself or herself and ask for a TBH, usually looking for positive responses.
    7. TBR - To be rude -- While TBH often leads to positive responses, TBR is usually followed by a negative response.
    8. OOMF - One of my followers -- A secretive way to talk about one of their followers without saying their name, such as "OOMF was so hot today."
    9. BAE - Baby -- affectionate term for someone's girlfriend, boyfriend etc.
    10. WCW - Woman Crush Wednesday -- A girl will post a picture of another girl she thinks is pretty, while guys will post pictures of girls they think are hot.
    11. MCM - Man Crush Monday -- Similar to Woman Crush Wednesday, but featuring pictures of men
    12. BMS - Broke my scale -- A way to say they like the way someone looks
    13. RDH - Rate date hate -- As in "rate me, would you date me, do you hate me?" A typical response might be "rate 10 date yes hate no" or "10/y/n."
    14. IDK - I don't know
    15. RN - Right now
    16. KIK - Another social media app, Kik, that they want to communicate on
    17. FML - F*** my life
    18. AF - As f*** -- A teen might tweet "mad af" or "you seem chill af."
    19. LMAO - Laughing my ass off
    20. S/O or SO - Shout out
    21. ILYSM - I like you so much or I love you so much
    22. CWD - Comment when done -- Similar to TBH, urging others to comment on their photo of whatever they're posting
    23. LOL - Laugh out loud -- Yes, you'll still find teens using LOL and OMG.
    What are some of the other acronyms or sayings teens are using on social media? Share your thoughts with Kelly Wallace on Twitter @kellywallacetv or CNN Parents on Facebook.