The Starter Mom: Internet Intervention

by Nicole Loughann

computer workDo you think LOL means “Lots of Love?” Have you sent your friends a picture of Bill Gates holding up a sign that says he is giving away his money? Did you know they finally made that flying hover board from Back to the Future II? If you answered yes to any of these you need an internet intervention mama!

Those who are web savvy already know why each, of these is wrong and are secretly laughing every time they see these missteps. If you aren’t in on the joke, don’t feel too bad; you are just out of the loop, and in the digital age that can happen pretty fast. I recently had to educate myself when I saw a post from my cousin that said, “I have been BFing with my DD all night and now all I can do is SMH and call my LLL coach.” First, I thought that was a pretty vulgar thing to post for the entire world to see. Then I found an acronym dictionary and said, “Oh so that’s what BFing means. (Breast feeding).” For anybody scratching their heads about what is real and what people are saying on the internet read on to see how I get around without looking like a total NOOB (Newcomer or Noobie).

Why is my friend mad that I sent her LOL when her aunt died? This well meaning friend thought LOL meant “Lots of Love.” It’s one of the most commonly misused acronyms on the web. It’s easy to understand how it happens. In most situations laugh out loud and lots of love both make contextual sense. For example, a post reads, “I accidentally swallowed a penny,” and either LOL works. Though I appreciate the mentality of the people who think LOL meant they were sending love rather than laughing. LOL has been around for a while so most people have caught on. However, there is a newer set of acronyms which I only learned about this year. I found a great translation geared towards parents and what they might come across on the web at mothering.com. Also the website netlingo.comoffers a full list of what is abbreviated on the internet.

Below is a list of some of the acronyms they cleared up for me and a few I learned along the way.

BF: Breastfeeding
BTW: By the Way
DH/DW/DD/DS/DP: Is a reference to members of one’s family dear husband, dear wife, dear daughter, dear son, dear partner.
LLL: La Leche League (international breastfeeding support organization)
SIL/MIL: Sister in Law, Mother in Law and so on.
IMNSHO: In my not-so-humble opinion.
FWIW: For what it’s worth
IYKWIM: If you know what I mean
OTOH: On the other hand
SAHM: Stay at home mom
SMH: Shake my head.
SWAK: Sealed with a kiss

When is Bill Gates going to send me that check? You will get that check on or around the same time as that Nigerian prince sends you a check for helping him pay his export tax. That means never. The truth is the pictures circulating with Bill Gates on them are Photoshopped. In fact, there area a number of web based competitions where artists are encouraged to Photoshop pictures as realistically as possible for entertainment purposes and to show off their skills. The winners of these competitions tend to have their work unkindly ripped off and circulated around the internet as real. If you see a photo that looks too good to be true I open a search engine and type in the content of the photo along with the word scam, such as “shark helicopter scam.” And usually find the first link is to a website about popular online hoaxes.

Where can I get my real-life flying Hover board? You can’t. This is one of the biggest hoax’s circulating the internet and it seems even more real because people like Tony Hawk, Moby and the original Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) took part in the joke. There are plenty of whoppers out there getting passed around as true, such as ostrich gives birth to dinosaur and woman confirms pregnancy from swimming in public pool. The internet has a one stop spot for you to check the validity of what you are reading and sending, Snopes.com. If you see something in your newsfeed that seems too crazy to be true look it up. On the flip side Snopes can confirm unbelievable stories that should be heeded. For example, a few days ago I received an e-mail about a two-year-old child who sustained minor injuries after playing at a playground in Illinois because there were razor blades glued to the monkey bars and slides. I was immediately skeptical, but Snopes confirmed this was true and really did happen, though thankfully the police removed all of the blades before more children were hurt.

The internet is a great place to connect with other mothers, to learn and to share. But the technology and terminology is constantly changing. The tips, scams and acronyms in are only true for this year. Next year will bring a new set of scams, new terminology and every once in a while an unbelievable story will turn out to be true. I just hope that the next true story is that Bill Gates is really going to start mailing us checks just for sending his picture to the people in our friends list. 


Leave a Reply