Teens use secret codes in 'sexting'

Parents admit having a hard time following text messages

Author: Jen Herrera, Anchor, Reporter, jherrera@Local10.com
Published On: Sep 20 2012 06:59:13 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 20 2012 11:00:00 PM EDT

We all know kids can text faster than adults. We've seen their fingers move.

But what adults don't always know is what exactly is being said in those text messages.

Those who "sext" often use codes to disguise the meaning of a phrase. For example, "see you for sex" is CU46.

Common codes like "lol" (laughing out loud), “omg” (oh my God) and “ttyl” (talk to you later) are harmless. But what about codes kids use to keep parents clueless?

Local 10's Jen Herrera went to the Pembroke Lakes Mall in Pembroke Pines with a stack of the newer texting codes and some sexting codes to see who knew more -- the grown-ups or the kids.

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Teenagers like Ashley Sands and Katherine Mendoza told Herrera they text constantly.

"I text like 24-hours a day, literally from morning to nighttime all day long," said Sands.

According to research published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine in July of this year, 25 percent of teens admitted to having sent a sext. 

But talking through texts can be like deciphering a foreign language for parents.

"I try, but they go faster than me," said Renee, Katherine Mendoza’s mom.

"I get the phone and I'm like, 'What is that?' I don't know what it is," said Cheryl, Ashley Sands’ mom.

When asked, many of the parents didn't know the meaning of the sexts.

"It would scare me because maybe it's a predator, a sexual predator, something like that, and that one would scare me because I have three daughters,” said Viana Lewis.

"I'm quick to delete it because I don't want it on my phone," said Cassandra Orely.

"If you don't know, like me, what this stuff means, you are clueless," said Cheryl Sands.

Click here for the top 50 internet acronyms for parents as provided by Netlingo.