A Mini Guide to Internet Literacy

shutterstock_92519419So you’re old and out of touch. You’ve been too busy keeping up with the Jones’s to notice the Zuckerberg’s, Page’s, Systrom’s, Huffman’s, and all the other geeks creeping round the bend. Maybe you can’t understand WTF your kid or grandkid is saying when they tell you on Skype that they’ll TTYL ‘cause their BFF just posted a cute cat pic that made them LOL and they have to LIKE it and RETWEET the INSTAGRAM.

Well, read on Macduff. We’ll hook you up with the who’s and what’s, and even give you a look at the lingo so your kid won’t think you’re a dinosaur that forgot to die.

Let’s start with some of today’s language (yes, the same that Shakespeare, Twain, and Hemingway would call their own, but…well, not really—hell, Huck Finn at least made some sort of sense, didn’e?).

Texting: (we’ll leave the sexting to other sites)

LOL – laughing out loud                            ROFL – rolling on floor laughing
LMAO – laughing my ass off  (yes, young people sure like to laugh)
TTYL – talk to you later                            BRB – be right back
BFF – best friends forever                        BTW – by the way
DIKU – do I know u?                                  GR8 – great
L8R – later                                                     IMO – in my opinion
WTF – what the f#@$            (this one just about sums it up, don’t it?)

Think that’s it? Think again, Jack! Check out this link to the whole coded language

On the net: Here are some of the top sharing sites where your kid is probably hanging out, and maybe a couple where you should be.

Facebook: The biggest social network online today, with over a billion users. Here you can make “friends”, aka contacts that may or may not be aware you exist. You can tell anybody who cares about your opinion that you like something you’ve seen elsewhere on the net, or you can post pictures and statements that your real friends might enjoy, but probably won’t. This site is kind of crucial to engage in if you have your own business.

Google Plus: Facebook’s main competitor, taking the second place spot from Twitter in 2013. It is owned by Google and is integrated into its other applications and services, such as Google mail and hangouts, making it somewhat more accessible and likely adding to its popularity.

Twitter: Another social networking site based on the premise that you can be eloquent enough in 140 characters or less (see texting guide above to understand how this is possible). The micro-blogging entries are called tweets and can be retweeted if people (followers) want to share these little pearls of wisdom. Groupings are based on hashtags (#), and you can follow users according to their @name.

LinkedIn: For professionals in any given field who want to establish a serious network with other professionals in their own and other fields. This site allows you to share your resume and other information to get a job, get resumes from those looking for work, or to establish links with other businesses that may be able to partner with yours.

Photo and multi-media sharing sites Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr. Just in case Facebook runs out of space for your cat, food, or duck-face pictures (which would be kind of weird since Facebook owns Instagram, and Yahoo owns Flickr, but then again, the world is actually getting smaller, is it not?).

But wait, Jack. You’re still not done. Don’t forget Skype, Youtube, Reddit, SlideShare, and many other sites where your kid has probably already been, and some of which you need to visit yourself ASAP.

The world is changing fast—better keep up.

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