I've written about ASKfm in the past, including this interview with Catherine Teitelbaum, Chief Safety Officer, discussing how the app has changed and rebranded. (It used to be Ask.fm and is now ASK.fm.)
ASKfm is a very popular Q&A social network among tweens and teens, as well as adults, with 150 million users in 150 countries using it to ask each other questions. The folks at ASKfm are trying to help parents understand how kids are using the app by releasing the top 20 slang words and acronyms posted in the ASKFm app by teens and explaining what they mean.
“Teen language can experience a seismic shift with just a few clicks, texts or posts, and word or even symbol choices can literally change by the day,” said Andrea Cutright, CTO of ASKfm. “Teens use our Q&A platform as a means to express themselves through dialogue so we have our finger on the pulse of how teens talk – be it in the form of acronyms, new definitions or the latest emoji. With this list, parents can now rest easy in the knowledge that being called GOAT is actually a very good thing and OOTD can explain why their teens take four dozen selfies.”
The top 20 terms Top 20 slang words and acronyms posted in the ASKfm app by teens include:
1. PAP - Acronym meaning “post a picture”
2. Bad - Just like the olden days of parents’ yore, bad still means good but it has shifted slightly and means something even more positive like hot
3. Ship - Short for relationship
4. :3 - A symbol meant to represent the cat face made by anime characters when they say something clever, sarcastic, or comment on something cute
5. IDEK - Acronym for “I don’t even know…”
6. IKR - Acronym meaning “I know, right?”
7. OOTD - Acronym for “outfit of the day;” commonly used to prompt someone to post a picture of their current outfit or to share your current outfit with friends/followers
8. SMH - Acronym for “shaking my head;” in reference to something distasteful
9. Dime - The highest rating on a scale of 1-10; used to share approval or express how good something is
10. THOT - Acronym meaning “that ho over there;” used to describe females with a promiscuous reputation
11. Netflix and chill - Code for hooking up or a “booty call”
12. Savage - Used to describe something that is hardcore or extreme, in a good way
13. AF - Acronym “as f**k” used to express the severity of something (e.g. hot AF)
14. TBR - Acronym for “to be rude;” usually said before the person shares their true – and harsh – feelings
15. Peep - Can refer either to friends (your people), or to look at/listen to (e.g. peep this)
16. Slept - Can refer to hitting someone hard enough to knock them out, missing out on something awesome, or to be extremely high
17. GOAT - Acronym for “greatest of all time”
18. No chill - Used to describe someone who is being irrational
19. Likers get rate - A phrase that implies the original poster will rank anyone that likes/comments/answers a post, typically around how cool they are perceived to be or how they look; also used to incent followers to like posts to get something (usually indicated in the post) in return
20. Frog emoji + coffee cup emoji - Based off a popular meme of Kermit the Frog drinking a cup of tea, teens use this emoji combo to sarcastically imply “but that’s none of my business” or “I’m just saying”
ASKfm also provides Safety Guidelines for Parents. If your kids are on this app, they're worth reading. ASKfm states in the guidelines that it is dedicated to "[p]reventing minors under the age of 13 from registering on the site (if you believe your child or other children, under the age of 13, has an ASKfm profile, please Contact Us. You can also report a profile: see how here)."
If your kids are on the app, even if you have your own account, sit down with them and ask them to walk your through how they use ASKfm, examples of what makes it fun and interesting for them, and examples of people who aren't making great choices when using it. You'll get a lot of insight. And if they aren't wiling to do that with you, it's a big red flag. Remind them of the rule that you shouldn't do anything online that you don't want to see on the front of The New York Times, or have your grandmother read at Thanksgiving dinner. If they can't handle that, then you have to really ask yourself if they can and should handle such apps.
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