The digital world is no longer a separate reality, it has become blended into every part of our lives. If you are responsible for a child or young person, opting out of the world of social media is no longer an option for you. By embracing technology you can develop an understanding of the opportunities and risks that it represents. 

Understanding key buzzwords and language used by young people on social media is a good place to start. It can help give you context and a conversational understanding. 

We have highlighted some of the most common buzzwords we are asked about on popular platforms below. If you are interested in learning more, check out our Introduction to Social Media 101 online training.

Snapchat: Streak

And no we don’t mean running across a sports pitch with limited clothing… A streak is a feature in Snapchat and is achieved by 2 users sending each other at least 1 Snap in 24 hours

This is represented in the app with a (default) Fire Emoji 🔥  and number beside the user’s name who you have a streak with. The lowest number that you can get is 3. The emoji will change to an hourglass if the Snap Streak is about to end. 

Users often see the number of the streak as being related to the strength of a friendship (Higher streak = Better friends). Often young people will send a snap saying ‘Streaks’ to many, if not all, of their friends every day in order to make more streaks.

Instagram: DM or Direct Messages

Ever heard the phrases slide into my DM’s or DM me? These terms are becoming increasingly common and used in popular culture. It means sending a message to one or more people directly and privately

You can send direct messages on other platforms but on Instagram you can send photos or videos, posts you see in your newsfeed, disappearing photos and videos, profiles, text, hashtags and locations.

To see messages you’ve sent with Instagram Direct, tap the ‘paper aeroplane’ in the top-right corner of the Feed. From there you can manage the messages you’ve sent and received.

TikTok: FYP

FYP means ‘For You Page’. This is the welcome screen a user sees when they open TikTok. This page is a central feature of the platform, whereby users see suggested content. 

The content is delivered by artificial intelligence based on what a user has previously interacted with. It is considered positive if your videos make it onto the ‘FYP’ and users will use #fyp on their videos in hopes of making it to this page so that they can ‘go viral’.

YouTube: Challenge

Viral challenges are best understood as online trends, where people take part or mimic games, activities, skits or dares. Challenges can exist on any platform, but the wide reach of YouTube means that they may originate or see discussion on the platform.

YouTubers may create challenges, or may be suggested challenges by their subscribers in the comments. You may remember the ‘ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge’? Or the ‘Cinnamon Challenge’ which continues to be popular and requires you to eat a spoonful of cinnamon. The reactions to this are usually very funny for viewers.

Check out the Social Media section of the Safer Schools App for more Buzzwords.

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