Get your mind out of the gutter. The new euphemism stands for 'What's The Future?'.
It all started with OMG, followed by LOL which quickly progressed into LMAO and ROTFL. It wasn't long before girls were discussing their BF and their BFFs and telling their parents they would BRB. It all adds up to TMI for many of us. Don't worry, for those you who are fast track impaired, I've provided a translation at the bottom of this post.
I, myself, am guilty of using many of these acronyms. I blame Twitter which has inconsiderately restricted me to 140 characters to get my thought across. I can't even talk to myself in anything less than 300 characters, and that's after I've had my morning coffee.
I received my yearly care package from a dear friend in Colorado. In it were nicely wrapped gifts and a beautiful birthday card. I also received an additional card from her in the mail on the same day. I carefully opened the creamy blue envelope and read her caring hand written words. Susan is the only person who sends me real mail. And when I receive it, I realize how much I miss the old days when I would receive pretty invitations, miss you greetings and get well cards in the mail. All of her notes contain no abbreviations (huge sigh of relief).
Whatever happened to the English language? Is this new manner of speak a permanent condition, or is it a passing fad? IMHO I would offer that it is sadly here to stay.
In these times of hurried text messages, voice mail, emails, Skype and IM's, and DM's, do you get the feeling that maybe, just maybe, our cultured state of speak is on the verge of extinction?
Are we really in that much of a hurry that everything needs to be abbreviated slashed and minimized? Evidently.
It's not just for the progressively young and in a hurry crowd. Many of us have used acronyms here and there, now and again. Don't think so? Don't bet on it. When was the last time you penned or typed FYI, RSVP, ASAP, or BTW? Ahh, it's coming back to you.
Well, FWIW, I am a strong advocate for the English language. I can't imagine a day when the books we read will contain abbreviated words, although scholars warn that the day is coming. IDK about you, but I refuse to go there. I will not participate. TBS, I'm not sure that my opinions amount to a hill of beans.
Progress has a way of marching on with or without us. I'd like to stand on the hilltops and yell "Hey progress, keep your grubby hands off our English language!". My luck my plea would be reduced to HPKYGHOOEL! Yup.
Our language and our ability to articulate our opinions, desires, anger, love and hate is what separates us from the animal kingdom (that, and we have thumbs). IRL we need to use all kinds of words to relay our sentiments. I'm of the belief that abbreviations go hand in hand with voice mail as contributing greatly to the downfall of our society.
Words are beautiful, hurtful, sad, happy, destructive, scary, haunting and enchanting. But most importantly, words are hugely powerful. I'm not sure how powerful abbreviations are. They don't conjure up any emotions or thought. They just make my head hurt.
I am a kind of WYSIWYG girl. But I'd like the opportunity to be able to spell it out for you. To have you take the time to know me and understand what I'm about. And I would like to read and hear about you, in real words, beautiful and descriptive words.
NM that the world is spinning quickly out of control, that new iPhones are being generated before we learn how to use the ones we have, that our computers and televisions are obsolete the day after we buy them.
FGS, slow down everybody. Use your words. They are the language of an intelligent people. I may be the only one who feels offended at the onslaught and sacrilege that has been bestowed upon our English language. If so, I will happily stand alone and gripe about it until the end of time (my time to be precise).
I close this post by posing the question: does our very culture rely on our ability to articulate our language? In short ... WTF?
TTFN, I look forward to your input. HAK everyone!
The abbreviation key for dummies (JK - Just Kidding)
ASAP - as soon as possible
BF - boyfriend
BFF - best friends forever
BRB - be right back
BTW - by the way
DM - direct message
FGS - for God's sake
FWIW - for what it's' worth
FYI - for your information
HAK - hugs and kisses
IDK - I don't know
IM - instant message
IMHO - in my humble opinion
IRL - in real life
LMAO - laughing my ass off
LOL - laughing out loud
NM - never mind
OMG - oh my God
ROTFL - rolling on the floor laughing
RSVP - (French) respondez sil' vous-plait
TBS - that being said
TMI - too much information
TTFN - ta ta for now
WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get
Exhausting ... isn't it?
On Instagram (iPhone and Android, free), users take photos from their daily lives and have the option to apply a variety of filters to enhance or touch-up their images. Users then have the ability to share their images on various social network sites as well as Instagram's own social network. Users also have the ability to "like" other users' photos and share with their own friends. BEST FOR: The application is best for those wanting to share the daily images of their lives. As Instagram has grown in popularity, many users can share their photos on multiple social networks. It's a great way to share your latest craft project or vacation adventures with your family and friends. TIPS & TRICKS: Photos from Instagram don't have to stay in the online realm. Users now have the ability to easily turn their filtered photos into actual photos on canvas using CanvasPop or even into desk calendars with the app Calendargram (iPhone, free), which would make great gifts for all of your loved ones.
Google+ is a social networking site that encompasses a variety of features, including Google Hangouts, an online spot that facilitates group chat and the "+1 button" that allows users to show your personal endorsement of an informative article or an interesting item. Google+ allows you to categorize your contacts into a variety of groups called circles. With circles, you can choose what groups can see what you post and what you share. If you want to talk about a family get-together, you can share it with your friends and family circle, but not your professional colleagues. BEST FOR: Google+ is ideal for those who want to share content-rich information. It has features for sharing personal documents and photos, articles and can connect users via text chat and video chat. The social media network also has over 40 games where you can connect with friends and share your scores with your different circles. TIPS & TRICKS: Google Docs has recently been integrated into Hangouts, the video chat feature of Google+. Now users can pull up their documents while using the video chat feature and you can even share your screen to make for a productive and basically face-to-face conference.
Pinterest is a virtual pin board where users can "pin" images on a variety of topics, such as home décor, recipes, and apparel. Pinterest users then create boards to house the images, so users may have one specific to anniversary planning, birthday parties, favorite recipes or quotes, for example. The cyber-version of "vision-boards," users have the opportunity to browse and share images. BEST FOR: If you're constantly surfing the web to collect ideas, it can be difficult to remember every site you visited or how to keep up with all of your bookmarks. With Pinterest, the "pinning" can be added to your internet browser easily and you can start collecting all of your favorite images. TIPS & TRICKS: Need some quick gift ideas for your grandchild's first birthday party or your son's promotion and not sure what you're looking for? Pinterest has segmented categories for price ranges in their gift section and you can quickly click on the image to take you to the product information and you can order right from your mobile device or computer.
Twitter is an online, micro-blogging social network channel that allows users to share and read posts up to 140 characters. Users can follow friends, celebrities, news distributors, companies and other organizations to keep up with daily news, the "it" celebrity or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. BEST FOR: Twitter is a great way to quickly receive news and catch updates from your friends, family, favorite sports team or news outlet. You can create different lists to separate your personal friends from the entertainment world from breaking international news. TIPS & TRICKS: To help you create lists, Twitter has a suggestions feature that provides categories such as music, fashion, technology and government. With these suggestions, you can have a complete list to keep you up-to-date on these areas. Also remember, watch what you tweet, especially if your information is public. News and broadcast networks could feature you on their show if you interact with them online.
With "more than 10 billion visits per month and the Facebook user hitting the site an average of 68.7 times every month," according to The Financial Brand, most people are familiar with the social networking site. A recent study from AARP amongst people age 50+ showed that 23% of those surveyed either used or frequently visited Facebook, which was by far the most popular social network amongst their age group. One thing to keep in mind is that Facebook has seen changes recently with Timeline, meaning users need to familiarize themselves with the different privacy policies that accompany the modifications. BEST FOR: To best use Facebook, remember to keep in mind what you want to share. Check your privacy settings and if you need help, remember that Geek Squad is available 24/7 online at geeksquad.com to help you navigate the changes. TIPS & TRICKS: Did you know you can now use Facebook to connect you and your friends through text message? If your Wi-Fi or internet connectivity is off, you can still contact your friends and family via Facebook. You can turn on text messaging so your contacts can use Facebook Messages to send you texts. Also, once you have activated text messaging through your Facebook account you can send a text to 32665 (FBOOK) and in the message, write msg and the name of the person you'd like to Facebook message and it will send to their inbox! For example: msg Joe Smith How are you?
LinkedIn is a social networking tool focused on professional networking and building business relationships. The tool can be used to network and has informational tabs that compile your personal industry's top news for the day for quick reference. BEST FOR: LinkedIn can be used to connect professionally and also as a supplement to the traditional resume and business card. You have the ability to expand and personalize your descriptions and skills that you sometimes leave off in hard copies. You even have the option of adding a video onto your LinkedIn profile to give you an extra boost in impressions. TIPS & TRICKS: Frequently check your LinkedIn to see what your contacts and colleagues are up to. It's a great way to stay connected professionally.
Watch who you "Friend" and "Follow." On many social media sites, people can request to follow or friend you. If you're not comfortable with strangers having access to your social media information, depending on the social media tool, you could have the option to allow them access to pre-approved sections of your profile. Privatize your profile. Geek Squad can show you how to take advantage of the privacy settings offered by social media sites. By marking your page as private, people have to request you as a friend or ask for your approval in order to "follow" you on Twitter or view your complete Facebook profile. Social media websites generally undergo changes a few times every year, and most of those facelifts affect privacy settings in some way - though users may not be directly alerted of those specific changes. If you notice changes on social-networking site homepages, it's a good idea to revisit your privacy settings, perform a quick internet search to learn more or ask a Geek Squad Agent to give you the scoop.
Beware of your posts! Always remember that any content you post on the internet will be there forever, for anyone to read, store and republish. Remember that this information is stored somewhere, likely in multiple places. Avoid sharing personal information. License plate numbers, house numbers or other addresses as well as specific names of schools, workplaces or towns should be not shared on the internet. Information can be used like pieces in a puzzle to paint a bigger picture of you. Always take a second look. Just because the screen says your friend John has sent you information doesn't mean John is actually the person who did. Scams often run rampant on social media sites, so beware of any unusual messages. For example, hackers disguise messages to your contacts claiming to need money after being robbed or having lost money in a foreign country. Trust your gut. If it doesn't "seem right" it probably isn't. Things free or too good to be true are just that. Social networking sites have been a breeding ground for fake antivirus software ads, so avoid any type of free antivirus offers.
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