Instructions: Write a short paper on this topic. Be sure to include some of the saying we use, which one’s you understand and don’t understand, and most of all discuss if social networking language is in fact different from our every day language.

The Process: Before starting this short essay assignment for DS106 I searched for as many acronyms that are commonly used for social media purposes as I knew of via google and my own personal experiences. In google search I typed “The meaning of LoL” and it brought me here. These are all commonly used and I pretty much knew them all already but before I write the essay based solely on my knowledge I wanted to make sure I was correct. I also took a photo of someones comment about the meaning of “LMAO” and they wrote “Love me at once” <— LOL    Also below I have a short list of commonly used acronyms.

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The picture was from my iphone I took it here on this page on this page.

A Short List of common Acronyms:

LOL– Laugh out loud LMAO- Laughing my (explicit) off WTF- What the (explicit) FML- (explicit) my life BRB- Be right back G2G- got to go OMG- oh my God/gosh SMH- Shake my head BTW- by the way… BTW this list goes on and on.

A New Language

Social networking sites have become increasingly popular within this decade and involves millions if not billions of users. This increase in use of social networking is due to the advancements in technology, and making the internet and online experiences available to most of the world via computers, smart phones and technology such as the iPad. All of this technology would be useless without apps like Skype or Facebook that connect users in ways like never before. These quick and easy free ways to communicate have become a phenomenon  and also the “reason” users use these products.

Along with the fast way to communicate people have also developed acronyms to replace certain ways of communication such as “LOL” which means laughing out loud and “FML” which means (explicit) my life. This new way of writing has engrained itself into main stream media on all levels and has become the “norm”. The reason why users have created of these acronyms is to substitute for the absence of emotions, when people are speaking in person they are able to see facial expression and hear laughter or crying etc. However, when people communicate through the internet it can be difficult to convey emotional feelings.

Another source used to convey emotions and sometimes replaces the acronyms are images such as 🙂 😦 =) =( these are very basic and there are more graphic images out there called Emoji’s (in Japan). Emoji‘s are a very effective way of expressing feelings and sometimes even explaining something that is simple in nature but somehow language barrier might make it difficult so Emoji’s can become handy.

Conclusion: FYI For your information

Social networking and the use of language within social networking come hand in hand and if you do not know the meaning of the common acronyms I have listed then you are far behind the power curb and there might not be any saving you. There are however acronyms that I have come across which I still dont quite understand so dont feel bad. A few years ago when Twitter became popular I didnt quite get what the hash tag was for, I thought it was putting an emphasis on something. Little did I know it was merely a tool used to connect people who may feel the same way about a subject. Cyber language may take years for older people to understand but for the younger generations it will be as easy as walking a dog.

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