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"But then it occurred to me the slang was actually really creative and saved time and keystrokes.
I was talking to some of the other programmers, and we thought it would be a cool idea to start a website that had translations of the slang that kids use." Jones created in 2005, and as more readers have submitted terms related to drugs and sex, what started out as a fun little lexicon of innocuous shortcuts has become a valuable educational tool for parents to learn about what their children are up to.
If the answers are no, you're not a teenager who uses alcohol or drugs.
"For parents, there is a mystique about technology, but texting is the standard way [teens] communicate with one another." To demystify electronic communications among teens, Wasden suggests keeping an eye on your child's texts and online communications, whether it's via instant messages or Facebook. According to a recent study from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, 64 percent of parents look at the contents of their child's cell phone.
This may seem overbearing, but remember: Looking at what your child says online could keep your child out of a dangerous situation. "If I have to choose between having my child upset with me or having them be victimized, I'm going to chose for them to be upset with me every time." Of course, it doesn't help to read what they write if you can't understand it.
"You should see the things I reject on a daily basis," he says.
"Some of this stuff is pretty vulgar." After they read through his dictionary, parents appreciate the education, Jones says.