Recently, I have seen a few new trends exist with language and behavior that needed a new word. Or teen slang that needed a slight adjustment, see if you have seen any of these slang trends in your life:
1) Sexting > Sexgesting
Sexting + Suggesting = Sexgesting
There is a gigantor misinterpretation going on by the media right now. The media is all over sexting (people sending sexual images via technology), and supposedly it is happening everywhere. Yet, when you ask teens, “have you sent naked images via text” they will say no. But, if you ask them “have you sent sexual images via text?” they will most assuredly say yes. What is the difference? Sexting is a concern, but sexgesting is more of a concern because it is more common. These are images with no explicit sexual content, but are suggesting sexuality with gestures, cleavage or sexy clothing and poses.
2) Advertising > Harradvertising
Advertising + Harrassment = Harradvertising
Younger generations are far more aware of advertising around them than every before. We area also quite brand conscious. Yet, I think there needs to be a distinction between advertising and brand promotion and harradvertising when companies take it to the extreme…twitter you, banner ads, email you, spim you (spam through IM), buy ads at school…I actually love to talk to my friends and youth about advertising and brand awareness because it enables us to make conscious buying choices.
3) iPhone > iPrecious
iPhone + Precious = iPrecious
I was speaking at a High School in Niagara Falls area and while talking to kids after the event, I spotted the most interesting interaction between a female student and the principal. It went something like this:
Principal: “Sarah, I told you that if I saw you with the phone again, I would take it away, please hand it over.”
Sarah: [Clutching her iPhone to her chest with both hands] “No, please Mr Smith, Please no. I realize now, I won’t use it. Please I will have detention instead, please don’t take it.”
Principal: “Sarah, you can have it back in 3 hours, right after the last bell rings. I need it now.”
Sarah: [Begins to cry and whimper] “No, please, no, Ill do anything…please.” [Begins to drop down to the floor by the lockers.”
This went on for another several minutes until the principle had to pry the cell phone from her hands and her friends led her away to the nearest bathroom. You know what it reminded me of? It was exactly what happened to me when my camp counselor took away my blanket at camp.
Phones are the new teen blanket. Taking them away is really, really scary for them. Almost life threatening. Think Lord of The Rings and Gollum’s obsession, but with cuter looking kids and a buzzing phone.
4) Perfection > TechnoPerfection
Perfection + Techology = TechnoPerfection
Techno Perfection is the new obsession of teen girls everywhere. Cheerleaders in the 80’s had the perfect complex and sadly needed to be the Prettiest Skinniest Girl in School. Technology has heightened the range of perfection. HD makeup, the fact that your picture could be taken by any cell phone at any time and posted to every kid’s news feed in your high school and surrounding areas, brings a whole new level to the perfect complex.
5) Cyberbully > eGuiltBully
Bully + Internet + Passive Aggressiveness = eGuiltBully
Cyberbullying is talked about all the time now, but I think there is a new kind of bully out there. Well, not new, but now they can use technology to spread their anonymous or flagrant venom. When I talk to teens and youth about cyberbullying they have a hard time relating because the type of bullying they receive is soft bullying, or as I call it Guilt Bullies: 8 Ways to Recognize Passive Aggressiveness.
This is the use of passive aggressive meanness online that is hard to confront, identify and fix but still leaves the victim feeling helpless, hopeless and alone.
6) Local > Glocal
Local + Global Media = Glocal
Let’s see if I can explain this concept. I believe that the global media wants to appeal and be relatable to more and more cultures and regions because shows like Hannah Montana are played all over the world. Because global media wants to appeal to everyone, they present a watered down version of American culture and present it to everyone. I think this is causing many youth who watch to lose appreciation for their own unique cultural and geographical differences, and gravitate towards this morally defunct, bland mainstream culture–a weird mix of global media and local desire to fit-in. I wish parents and adults would talk to kids about this phenomenon to at least make youth aware of the fact that it is ok to not be a part of the global culture, and it is important to be proud of your uniqueness.
7) Hickey > Bickey
Hickey + Bite = Bickey
I saw teen biting a few months ago and wrote a short post about it. Since then we have had numerous comments and emails from parents and teens saying that they were relieved to see that this is a trend in other areas and not only their hometown. These are not like hickeys in the sense that friends do them to each other too, but they are like hickeys because they are a symbol of how much you like someone, and how much you are liked. They are not usually on the neck, but instead on the cheeks, arms, hands, wrists and chests.
8) Empathy > Emptathy
Empathy + Empty = Emptathy
Empathy is the ability of a person to be able to relate to what another person is feeling. I think empathy is a virtue that is not appreciated or understood by most of the younger generations. It takes work as a good friend to be able to empathize, not sympathize, nor victimize a friend who is going through a rough time. Yet, if everyone had a little more empathy I think that we would be a lot better off, because after all, when you can see where the other person is coming from, it helps you be way more open-minded.
Feel free to add your own in the comments, these are just a few themes I have seen come up in the past few months talking and speaking to youth and parents.
This post is dedicated to Heather Banis, thank you so much for bringing me to Chandler School, always being supportive and doing great things for your students!