There’s been some discussion on various blogs about the appropriate age for kids to get their own cell phones and how much freedom they should have on the Internet, whether its e-mailing, IM-ing, setting up a Facebook account, or surfing the Web.
I find it’s helpful to gather information as we’re making decisions in these areas, so I’ve been interested in reading comments on those blogs. Also, netlingo.com proved to be a good online resource.
A section for Parents and Educators (about halfway down the landing page) includes a link to the Top 50 Internet Acronyms Every Parent Should Know. I won’t provide the direct link here, because the phrases refer to unseemly activity. I don’t want you to be mad at me if you clicked without knowing what you were getting into. But if your kids are text messaging, you should read the list and be aware.In that same section for Parents and Educators, you’ll find a list of Alarming Statistics. A quick scan, and you may rethink the extent of Internet and cell phone access you allow your kids. If nothing else, you’ll be more aware of the dangers and concerns.Finally, if you’re like me and find yourself rather ignorant of even the most basic acronyms, netlingo offers a very long list of Internet text messages (mixing both tame and unseemly acronyms) here. Look it over, try out a few of the friendly, tame, harmless ones in an e-mail and you’ll feel oh-so-trendy.I’ll close with some shorthand that makes me grin, because not only did my friends and I use it long, long ago, in a pre-Internet, low-tech world of folded notes passed down the row of desks in math class, but also my grandmother and I closed our snail mail letters to each other with it: