(WJW) – You see the text messages and hear the slang, but do you really understand what your teenager is saying?
From sex-related emojis to self-harm hashtags and drugs, here’s a look what parents should know so they don’t get lost in translation.
What started out as quick messaging is now a secret code.
“Some of them can be harmless, some of them can be very dangerous,” said Josh Ochs, the founder of smartsocial.com.
It’s a “big yikes” for parents unaware of the hidden meanings.
“So we made a master list. It’s called the Teen Slang, Emojis and Hashtags List That Parents Need to Know,”‘ Ochs said.
Och’s website help educate more than 2 million people each year.
“Parents all over the country look at our APP guides and resources to find out what their kids are doing online,” he said.
They especially focus on emojis.
“One of the most popular right now is the baseball cap and cap means the word, ‘lie,”‘ he said. “A student could tell their friend that they lied to their parents about where they’re going to be and they could use that baseball cap or the word cap”
A number of emojis seem innocent, but are so profane that we can’t even explain them here.
“Like food items, a microphone a tent, they can all seem playful but they also have really suggestive meanings,” Ochs said.
A dancing emoji could imply being ready to party, a frog means someone is ugly and fire is way more than hot.
“It’s a compliment when a student says ‘that’s fire’ if they’re talking about nachos. It means, ‘these are delicious. I want some more.’ It can also mean lit, which means awesome. It can mean sexy, like, ‘that outfit is fire on you”‘
While snow and ice emojis can represent drugs.
“For example, a snowflake and a snowman might mean cocaine or a letter A and a train might mean Adderall,” said public information officer Brian McNeal.
More than 50 emojis are being used by drug dealers, from rockets to baby bottles, decoded and published by the DEA, says McNeal.
“Drug traffickers are harnessing power of social media to sell drugs online. Different emojis mean different drugs,” McNeal said.
Trees, four-leaf clovers and broccoli for marijuana, a blue heart and diamond for meth and even a candy bar for Xanax.
“One that was most surprising to us was a little electrical plug and that means drug dealer hookup,” Ochs said.
Some hashtags and acronyms are also very dangerous.
“ASL, it means age, sex location and that’s somebody your student doesn’t know asking them what’s your age, what’s your sex and what city are you in,” Ochs said.
Others can indicate self harm like #sue for suicide and sometimes #ana for anorexia.
Any emoji that seems out of place should be a red flag to parents. Learn more in the video above.