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If you don't understand 'GNOC, please read this
By Chuck Goudie | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 11/2/2009 12:01 AM

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143 and 459 are nice.

Unless you are saying so under the influence of 420.

Or if it leads to GNOC.

If you don't understand what I have just written, then your children have been successful in KPC.

The above numbers and letters are among hundreds of text message codes in use millions of times a day by adolescents and teenagers and adults who prey on them.

Here is the text message translation of the above:

I love you. (143 and/or 459)

Marijuana. (420)

Getting naked on camera. (GNOC)

KPC. (Keeping parents clueless.)

So, now that Halloween has ended and we are heading into the Christmas season, before you buy that first-time phone for innocent Johnny or sweet little Samantha, you should be aware of the dangerous health hazards associated with these devices.

Forget about the perils of surfing the Internet or e-mailing while driving. Legislatures have already outlawed that in most places. This is the warning that should be posted on all cell phones and PDAs:

WARNING: THE USE OF TEXTING CODES MAY MEAN YOUR CHILDREN ARE UP TO NO GOOD.

For example, if you see your son at breakfast with both hands under the table and his eyes peering downward, the odds are he's not wiping up some dribbled oatmeal.

If you look at what he is furiously typing onto his cell phone and it says "IWSN," you should know that he doesn't mean "I wish you something nice."

In text messaging code IWSN means "I want sex now."

Some of the text messaging codes are just innocent shorthand and juvenile chatter.

But much of it is what has been branded as "sexting," the posting of raw photos, videos or messages.

Many states including Illinois have banned the transmission of lewd photographs and videos. But as difficult as those cases are to trace and prosecute, sexting codes are nearly impossible to detect.

Of course, such communiqués between consenting adults is not the issue. But there is a problem when 12-year-olds are sexting each other in code to hide it from their parents.

And sometimes, sexting codes are downright dangerous.

If you see the coded question "RU/18 LMIRL" on the phone or computer screen of your 14-year-old girl, please take away her privileges and find out whether you need to call the police. It means that someone wants to know if she is a minor (RU/18) and is suggesting "let's meet in real life" (LMIRL).

Many of the sexting codes that your children may be using are not fit to print in this newspaper. But just ask your neighborhood teenagers what 8, MPFB and RUH mean. They'll know.

It's disheartening as a parent that you have to be the text message police, but it is better than having to call the real police because your kid is on a bus to meet their 34-year-old soul mate in Sacramento.

You can start by learning what the code words and acronyms are. A Web site called netlingo.com is the best place to see what sexting codes are all about.

The innocent old days are gone, if they ever existed. I know there was a time when a car jack was something you swore at while trying to change a flat and a computer needed a room of its own. Back then communication was so simple.

You had your face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, letters and maybe telegrams, if you were really serious.

Once upon a time it was easy to eavesdrop on your teenagers and check their pockets or backpacks for incriminating notes. Now you have to have three eyes and be a computer wizard just to find out whether a pedophile is in touch with your teenager.

If you do check your kid's text messages, be on the lookout for this one: P911.

It'll let you know that you're doing your job.

P911 means "parent alert."

• Chuck Goudie, whose column appears each Monday, is the chief investigative reporter at ABC 7 News in Chicago. The views in this column are his own and not those of WLS-TV. He can be reached by e-mail at chuckgoudie@gmail.com and followed at twitter.com/ChuckGoudie.