Deciphering your kids' cryptic texts

Jul 07, 2011

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Slang, abbreviations, and other secret codes have helped kids hide conversations and thoughts  from their parents for years. Remember Pig Latin back in the day? Ecretsay anguageslay avehay elpedhay idskay elayray iddenhay essagesmay romfay heirtay arentspay.

This stuff is alive and well today, but they're a little more complex than Pig Latin. These cryptic conversations are found in text messages, instant messages, and emails. Though most of these conversations may be innocent, texting "code" is intentionally used to take less time texting, but it also can keep parents in the dark.

You probably recognize the harmless ones like "lol," "bff," and "brb." But what if you stumble across "W2 ?^ L8R?" What may look like a typo or gibberish could be a hidden message that a parent would want to know. 

"W2 ?^ L8R?" means "Want to hook up later?" Though this message may be innocent on a Saturday afternoon, it might have a significantly different meaning at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday night.

If you see something over your kid's shoulder that looks a little like, "PIR" (or Parent in Room), what can you do?  Fortunately, there are a few websites which can decipher these hip codes for us old people.  If in doubt or in the dark, check these out: