Do you sometimes look at one of the many acronyms on social media and wonder what the jibbery they mean? I know I do. And why, when I’ve gotten my head around all the ones I think exist, do new ones appear?

Using acronyms can add context to social media content, and help get your point across using less characters, which can be sometimes make all the difference. Understanding them can help your business work out what a customer is trying to tell you and help you hone an appropriate response.

Understanding the true meaning can be critical. Take this for example which I’m sure you will have already seen. Still cracks me up.

Social media acronyms

So here’s a few common ones to help prevent you being like David’s mom

SMH – Shaking my head. General disapproval and disappointed bewilderment.

FML – The M is ‘my’ and L is ‘life’. The F you can guess. Used when someone is giving up the will to live.

BRB – Be right back. Life the 21st century version of TTFN

LOL – laugh out loud. Not lots of love.

IYSWIM – If you see what I mean.

BAE – before anyone else. Used to describe your bestie, whether male or female. Unlike BFF, can be used to describe your significant other. Usually used by angst-riddled teens. If you’re over 30 and using this, you need to reassess your life

BTW – by the way.

FYI – for your information. We used this before it was cool. Even on faxes. Remember those?

IDK – I don’t know

NSFW – not safe for work – i.e. do NOT open this gif while the boss is looking.

WTF – What. The. And then a rude word. Sometimes this is written as WTAF and the A is for ‘actual’. Used to display shock and mild horror.

YOLO – just in case anyone from 2008 has travelled forward in time. YOLO means You Only Live Once. It’s a ‘what the heck’ expression.

AIBU – used in popular parenting forums, it means “Am I being unreasonable?”

IMHO – In my humble opinion

For more acronyms, check out this post by Sprout Social