Text Test: Use of ‘secret language’ among children, teens on personal devices raises concerns

(WSVN) - If your teens are spending their summer with their head bent over their cellphones, you might want to listen to this story. There’s a secret text language kids are using, and most parents have no idea it exists. 7’s Lynn Martinez has this “Text Test” you need to know about.

Texting and social media. Teenagers are always tapping away, and even if you see their texts, do you really know what they’re saying?

Kelly Linhares, mother: “It makes no sense, and they don’t use full words. They use slang.”

The language teens and preteens use to speak with friends — and even strangers online — can come with words, acronyms and even pictures that have coded meanings.

Carmen Caldwell, Miami-Dade Youth Crimewatch: “If parents are not aware of what their child is doing on their cellphone, on their tablets, on their computer, then, you know, you’re putting them at risk.”

With their daughters in tow, we put moms Tenisha and Kelly to the test and asked them to figure out the meanings behind some of the top teen text slang terms out there.

First word is “Thirsty.”

Tenisha Williams, mother: “I’m not thirsty.”

Kelly Linhares: “I don’t know the other meaning, besides ‘thirsty.'”

“Thirsty” can mean desperate for sexual attention.

How about “Netflix and Chill?”

Kelly Linhares: “For me, it would just mean, a long day at work, I’ll go home, and I’ll Netflix and chill. Meaning, I don’t have to do any work.”

Tenisha Williams: “No!”

Nope! “Netflix and Chill” is a code term for sex.

Next up? “BMS.”

While Kelly and Tenisha weren’t sure what it meant, Tenisha’s daughter Desyree did.

Desyree Houston, Tenisha’s daughter: “Another Instagram or social media game. You like it, and they’ll give you a rate from 1 to 10.”

True, “BMS,” or “Break My Scale,” is a game where users rate each others’ looks.

And finally, the peach emoji.

Tenisha Williams: “I don’t know. The butt?”

Kelly Linhares: “Yes!”

Here are some more terms parents should be concerned about:

GNOC: Get naked on camera.

DOC: Refers to drug of choice.

MIRL: Let’s meet in real life.

And it’s not just words. There are code numbers as well.

A simple “9” means a parent is watching, and “99 ” means the parent is gone.

Tenisha Williams: “I need to create a cheat sheet, seriously.”

Carmen Caldwell: “They need to put restrictions. Most phone carriers have great parent control.”

Also, be sure to talk to your kids about what you see to keep from becoming lost in translation.

If you would like to test your knowledge on the top text slang terms of 2018, click here.

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