February is teen dating violence awareness and prevention month.
Texting and social media have changed the ways teens date and dating violence is often perpetuated in technology use. With cell phones and texting, individuals are expected to be always available, and these technologies can perpetuate harassment and make it difficult to get away from. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, domestic violence is the most under-reported crime in America. One of the ways you can recognize abuse is by understanding the text acronyms teens use, especially the ones intended to leave parents in the dark.
POS or MOS
“Parent over shoulder” or “mom over shoulder.” If they have to let the person they are talking to know this, that should be a red flag. They are having a conversation that they need to keep secret from you for some reason.
Code 9 or CD9
This alerts to parents being around. For the same reason as POS, why do they need to let their friend know this?
Name, Address, Zip Code. This is used when the person your teen is talking to is not someone they know in person and they are being asked for their personal information. You should let them know it is incredibly dangerous to tell strangers this information.
Age, Sex, Location. This, similar to NAZ, is asking for personal information. Depending on the age of your child and the nature of the question, this could be relatively harmless. If in a friendly chat room, a stranger could just be getting an idea of who they are talking to. However, if you are not comfortable with your teen talking to strangers on the internet at all, this should alert you that that is going on.
Party is on! This is an invitation to a wild party. If that is not something you are comfortable with your teen attending, beware if they find an excuse to leave the house that night.
Let’s meet in real life. This acronym is a huge red flag. Teens should not be meeting strangers they meet online in real life. Talk to your teen about the dangers of meeting people on the internet.
Are you over 18? There are no good intentions for this question. Only someone who does not know your teen well enough to know their age, but needs to know if they are legally above 18, has reason to ask them this.
Get naked on cam. “Cam” usually refers to a web camera. This request is clearly not appropriate and you want to know if your teen is facing this kind of pressure.
If you are unsure what an acronym means that your teens is using, you can look it up on NetLingo.com. Not all acronyms are bad. In fact, most are harmless, like LOL (laugh out loud), CWYL (chat with you later), and IMHO (in my humble opinion), but it is good to know what the acronyms mean that your child is using. If they have nothing to hide, they will probably tell you themselves!
- What Parents Need to Know About Dating Violence (doorwaysarizona.com)
- How to Help Your Teens Develop Healthy Relationships (doorwaysarizona.com)
- 4 Subtle Signs Your Teenager is Not in a Healthy Relationship (doorwaysarizona.com)