Most parents know a few Facebook abbreviations and meanings such as “LOL“, “IMO” or “ROFL” simply because they have been floating around the Internet for years and are still in heavy use on Facebook, Twitter and in “text speak”. The majority of abbreviations on Facebook are harmless acronyms or alphanumerical abbreviations integrated into conversations to add emphasis or for comical effect. However, a different set of Facebook abbreviations, acronyms and emoticons are not so innocent and could be used to anonymously harass, intimidate or bully another person.
Why Kids Use Abbreviations for Facebook Bullying
Children as young as five now have Facebook pages that may or may not be monitored by parents. Moreover, parents who do monitor their child’s Facebook page may be so befuddled by the abbreviations and emoticons (picture-words using keyboard characters) sprinkled heavily throughout their child’s conversation with friends that they simply assume everything is fine and stop checking the page regularly.
There lies the problem with cyberbullying on Facebook and through text messaging–the rampant use of Facebook abbreviations and emoticons unknown to most parents can be used to send hateful, intimidating messages to children and teenagers who unfortunately know exactly what these abbreviations mean. Using abbreviations on Facebook not only increases a bully’s sense of anonymity already provided by the Internet but further allows them to get away with it for longer periods and usually without suffering the ramifications that goes along with finally being discovered by teachers and other parents as a non-online bully.
Using Facebook abbreviations to bully others is a way for troubled kids to feel powerful and in control of some aspect of their life. They may also think that bullying makes them seem more influential and popular to peers, especially when the bullying is “funny” and draws online laughs from others. Although some bullies have severe personality disorders or may even be sociopaths, others are not “authentic” bullies and would react with embarrassment and guilt if they were to speak to their victims the way they “speak” to them on Facebook.
Whether bullying is done online using Facebook abbreviations, acronyms or emoticons, it is still bullying and will usually fall into one or more categories of cyber-bullying:
- Gossiping about another person for the purpose of damaging their reputation.
- Deliberating ignoring or excluding someone from a Facebook group.
- Hacking into someone’s Facebook page and posting inflammatory remarks about that person or about someone else in order to start a fight.
- Harassing someone on Facebook by continuously sending insulting and offensive messages about that person to others or posting status updates that are equally mean and rude about the person targeted for harassment.
- When a bully tricks someone into telling them embarrassing secrets and the bully then shares this embarrassing information online, this is called “outing” and it happens frequently on Facebook.
Keep this list of Facebook abbreviations handy to help you interpret Internet communications if you suspect someone may be bullying your child on Facebook or other social media platform.
2C4U–Too cool for you
2FB–Too freaking bad
AYPI–And your point is?
AYSOS–Are you stupid or something?
SMH–Smacking my head
BBB–Boring beyond belief
BUF–Big, ugly, fat
H8TTU–Hate to be you
D/C or DC–Don’t care
F**ML–F*** my life
GMAFB–Give me a friggin’ break
HML–Hate my life
HMP–Help me please
PITA–pain in the butt
IHU or IHY–I hate you
NOYB–None of your business
TPT–Trailer park trash
YRSL–You are so lame
F2F–Face to face
LMBO–Laughing my butt off
GAL–Get a life
JFK–Just for kicks
KISS–Keep it simple, stupid
MYOB–Mind your own business
STBU–Sucks to be you
GOMB–Get off my back
YBS–You will be sorry
DYNWUTB–Do you know what you are talking about?
ESAD–Eat s*** and die
FBF–“fat boy” food or food eaten by overweight people (e.g. fries, burgers, pizza)
FICCL–Frankly, I couldn’t care a less
FWIW–For what it’s worth
GAC–Get a clue
GIAR–Give it a rest
LAY–Laughing at you
LIC–Like I care
NFW–No freaking way
P911–Parents coming into room (like an alert)
RME–Rolling my eyes
SOL–Sooner or later
SSINF–So stupid it’s not funny
TD2M–Talk dirty to me
TMOT–Trust me on this
AUFT–Are you freaking mental?
YRARP–You are a royal pain
FYEO–For your eyes only
NOLM–No one loves me
Emoticons are “words” that are created using one or more keyboard characters that include punctuation marks and symbols like the # and @. Emoticons are even more difficult to interpret because they are not acronyms but more like cryptic writing that requires a professional decipherer to interpret them if you didn’t already know what they meant. Examples of emoticons that online bullies may use on Facebook include:
>:-( means “angry”
O.o means confused
:'( means “crying” or “sad”
😮 means “shocked” or “surprised”
😛 means that someone is sticking their tongue out at you
>:O means someone is yelling at you
Although emoticons are seen less and less frequently with the popularity of acronyms and textspeak overtaking the use of emoticons, they are still seen on Facebook and can make a possible bullying situation difficult to ascertain.
Finding the Meanings to New Facebook Abbreviations
Facebook abbreviations and their meanings are constantly changing and adapting to the latest sayings and behaviors exhibited by children and teenagers. Parents who monitor their child’s Facebook page for signs of bullying should always perform a search for abbreviations with which they are unfamiliar. In addition, certain abbreviations may only be used by a tight-knit clique of your child’s peers at school that no one else knows or uses. If you suspect someone is harassing your child on Facebook but can’t interpret some of the abbreviations, don’t ignore your gut feeling about the meaning of the conversations. Either research the new term using an up-to-date slang dictionary or have a serious discussion with your child about possible Facebook bullying.