Family Digital Wellness Guide


There are a lot of words, technical terms, and slang in the digital world. You can learn more about some of them here. If you’re looking for a word and don’t see it, please let us know at

A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z


@ – Symbol for “at” or “at sign” used primarily to direct electronic communication, most notably in email addresses and social media handles where @ is often used as a substitute for “a.”

Active screen use – Interaction with screen-based media that requires physical or cognitive engagement

ACT – Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a type of mindful psychotherapy that helps one stay focused on the present moment and accept thoughts and feelings without judgment.

Addiction – A neuropsychological disorder characterized by a persistent and intense urge to engage in a behavior, despite harm or other adverse consequences.

Adolescent – A young person in the process of developing from a child to an adult, typically in the age range of 10-19 years.

Ads – Images or videos designed to sell a product that often appear on television, across social media, and before online videos begin to play. Ads include any form of ‘product placement,’ such as influencers being paid to promote a service or websites with AdSense.

Advergames – Advergames are video games developed by or with a corporation or organization, designed to promote and advertise a product, service, or agenda.

ADHD – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder where an individual experiences higher levels of hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors.

Aggression – Angry, hostile, or possibly violent behavior.

Alexa – Amazon’s voice-controlled intelligent virtual assistant.

Algorithm – The way a computer program has been designed to process how someone uses the Internet or an app, and use that information to customize what that user sees displayed. For example, if a user frequently visits a specific person’s social media account, posts from that account will appear before other, less frequently visited accounts.

AMA – Internet abbreviation for “ask me anything,” often in the title of a social media-based conversation where readers ask a respondent questions in real time.

Analytics – Data collected by companies to measure different aspects of the use of their product, (for example, how long someone views an image, how many times an image has been liked, or how many times a link has been opened).

Anxiety – A mental health disorder characterized by heightened feelings of stress, fear or worry.

App – Short for “application,” a program downloaded to a phone, tablet, or computer.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Computer programs that are designed to perform tasks that are usually performed by humans. These programs respond to a set of inputs and have the capability to learn from data and make decisions or predictions based on that data.

AI content detector – A tool that provides a confidence percentage when evaluating whether a text was partially or entirely generated by AI. One example of use is a teacher reviewing a student’s paper using this type of AI checker.

Ate To describe something that did an action very well or to compliment their appearance.

Attention span – The amount of time spent concentrating on a task before becoming distracted.

ASMR – An Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a relaxing tingling or goosebumps sensation in response to specific triggering audio or visual stimuli on social media.

​​Audience – The community that your social media content can connect with including everyone who follows, views, or engages with your post.

Augmented Reality (AR) – A technology that allows users to overlay interactive digital features onto the real world, typically using a smartphone.

Avatar – A picture that is used to represent a user online. It can be whatever the user chooses, from their own appearance to an imagined one (for example, a favorite cartoon character).


Background television/media – The experience of having television, online videos, music, or video games playing while performing other activities.

Bae – Internet slang for one’s significant other

Bard – An AI-powered chatbot tool designed by Google to simulate human conversations using natural language processing and machine learning.

Beige flag – A character trait that indicates that a partner or potential partner is boring or lacks originality.

Belonging – The feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion and identity for a member of a certain group.

BeReal – A social media app that allows users to post one photo per day to show their followers what they are doing in real time.

Beta – A version of an upcoming product, released to build hype and provide preliminary feedback to the developers.

Binge watch – The act of watching multiple episodes of a television show in a row.

Binge eating – Eating unusually large amounts of food in one sitting; feeling a lack of control over the amount of food you eat.

Bio – Short for “biography,” which is a short description of who you are.

Bitmoji – A personalized emoji designed to look like a cartoon of the user, able to represent a variety of moods and expressions.

Bloatware – Unwanted software that is preinstalled on a newly bought device, especially when it negatively impacts the device’s performance.

Blockchain – A digital ledger that is secured to nearly ensure that it cannot be manipulated or hacked. Used for the trading and tracking of cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

Blue light – The type of light that screen-based technologies like laptops, tablets, and smartphones give off. Looking at this kind of light can make someone feel more alert or in a heightened mood, and can also result in sleep disruption.

Biohacking – Strategic biological experimentation (especially upon oneself) using technology hormones, diet, etc., with the goal of enhancing or augmenting performance, health or mood.

Body dysmorphia – A disorder where a person focuses on one or more aspects of their body that they see as a flaw (often something that is not seen by others).

Body image – How a person sees their own body both in the mirror and in their mind.

BookTok – A community of readers that generate and share content about books on TikTok.

Bump – Typically used on social media comment feeds which sort comments from newest to oldest, a user may type this to move a comment or question up to the top of the list.

Brand/Branding – How something or someone identifies and chooses to represent themselves to the world. For an individual person, this can mean the type of content they share online or behaviors they engage in so that other people understand their values. For a business, this can mean the kinds of messages they create with the intention of attracting a certain type of customer.

Browser – An application program that provides a way to look and interact with all the information on the world wide web.

Bully – A person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable.


Cancel culture – The practice of publicly rejecting, boycotting or ending support for particular people or groups because of views or actions deemed socially or morally unacceptable.

Canon event – Internet slang for a painful event in someone’s life that can’t be interrupted because it will have a potentially dramatic influence on the way they carry themselves, popularized by the movie Spider-Man: Across the Spider Verse.

Cap/Capping – Internet slang describing something fake or dishonest.

CAPTCHA – Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA) is a tool to help differentiate between humans and robots.

Catfishing – Using a fake identity or persona to befriend strangers online, often for romantic relationships.

CBT – Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of evidence-based psychotherapy that helps identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and learn healthier coping skills.

Chatbot (or “bots”) – AI designed programs that run within websites and apps to interact directly with users and help them with simple tasks. These bots use language processing to carry on conversations with individuals in an almost human-like manner.

ChatGPT – A chatbot developed by OpenAI that uses question-answer format to understand human speech and produce in-depth responses.

CIPA – The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children’s access to obscene or harmful online content by requiring minimum internet access and monitoring policies of schools and libraries that receive certain federal communications services discounts. (Federal Communications Commission)

Circadian Rhythm – The body’s internal clock that helps us stay awake during the day and sleep at night.

Cis – Abbreviation for cisgender, a term used to denote a person whose gender identity corresponds to their sex assigned at birth.

Clapback – Internet slang for a quick, sharp and effective response to criticism.

Claude – An AI assistant created by Anthropic to use techniques like Constitutional AI and harmlessness training to provide thoughtful dialogue, content creation, complex reasoning, creativity, and coding using real-time data.

Clickbait – A piece of internet content that is created with the specific intention of getting users to click on its link, often through flashy or exaggerated headlines.

Cognition – The brain’s process of taking in, understanding, and reflecting upon information.

Cognitive science – The broader form of study that includes AI in addition to philosophy, linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, and anthropology. All of these combine together to learn how the mind functions and, when applied to AI, how machines can simulate human thought and action.

Confirmation bias – The tendency to search for, interpret, favor and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s existing beliefs or values.

Constitutional AI – A method for training AI systems using a set of rules or principles that act as a “constitution” for the AI system. This approach allows the AI system to operate within a societally accepted framework and aligns it with human intentions.

Continuous scroll – A feature of certain apps where a user can continue scrolling without end.

Conversational AI – A type of artificial intelligence that can simulate human conversation, to offer a more advanced, natural, personalized and dynamic approach with the user.

Coping – Conscious and voluntary thoughts and behaviors mobilized to manage internal and external stressful situations.

Co-play/Co-op – Playing together as a team, either in person or in an online video game setting.

COPPA – The Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) is a federal law that places limits on the data and information website and application operators can collect on children under the age of 13. (Federal Trade Commission)

Co-viewing/Joint engagement – The act of watching or engaging with a digital application or other media with another person.

Creator economy – A type of business run by online content creators (including influencers and entrepreneurs) who monetize their audiences through paid partnerships, ads, tipping platforms and product sales, to earn direct revenue.

Cringe – Internet slang for something embarrassing or tacky, mostly used in a criticizing context.

Critical thinking – Evaluating and analyzing a piece of information before making a judgment on its value or accuracy.

Cryptocurrency (Crypto) – Digital currency traded and invested online. Can be used directly for many purchases but can also be traded for more traditional assets. Common cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin.

CSAM – Child Sexual Abuse Material refers to imagery or videos which show a person who is a child and engaged in or is depicted as being engaged in explicit sexual activity. Federal law prohibits the production, advertisement, transportation, distribution, receipt, sale, access with intent to view, and possession of CSAM.

Cutscene – A non-interactive video sequence that interrupts segments of a video game and depicts part of the game’s background or storyline.

Cyberbullying – The act of bullying in an online context. Often includes sending threatening messages, or sharing or posting negative, embarrassing, or other harmful information or images.


DALL-E – Text to image models developed by OpenAI using deep learning methodologies to generate digital images from prompts, or natural language descriptions.

Data – Information that can be used to measure and infer different information.

DBT – Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is evidence-based psychotherapy to help individuals who have difficulty with emotional regulation or exhibiting self-destructive behaviors by developing healthy ways to cope with stress, regulate emotions, and improve relationships with others.

Deadname – The act of referring to a transgender or non-binary person by a name they used prior to transitioning.

Deepfake – A representation of a person in which their face or body has been digitally altered so that they appear to be someone else, typically used maliciously or to spread false information.

De-influencing The practice of discouraging people, via social media, from buying particular products, and avoiding certain lifestyle choices. Generally viewed as a positive position to help promote transparency and hold brands accountable.

Delulu – Internet slang for delusional.

Desensitization – Exposure to something to the point that it no longer elicits the same emotional response.

Depression – A mental health disorder that is recognized for ongoing feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in day-to-day activities, and a sense of hopelessness.

Developmental readiness – A child’s mental, emotional, and intellectual readiness for a task or experience.

Developmentally optimal – Activities, conversations, and information that are at the right level to be understood by a child while contributing to their ongoing physical, social, mental, and academic growth, regardless of their biological age.

Digital – Using computerized technology.

Digital citizenship – The responsible, safe, and respectful use of the internet and technology.

Digital wellness – An intentional state of physical, mental, and social health that occurs with mindful engagement with the digital and natural environment.

Direct messaging (DM) – A way to privately communicate with one or more individuals within an otherwise social or public platform.

Disappearing content – Content that deletes itself after a set amount of time has passed (often within 24 hours) to create immediate engagement.

Discord – An instant messaging and VoIP social platform where users have the ability to communicate in private chats, or as part of communities called servers.

Disinformation – Content or statements that spread false or inaccurate information, with the deliberate intent to mislead or manipulate.

Diversity – The practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds, different genders, and sexual orientations.

DLC – Downloadable content (DLC) refers to any extra elements in video games that you can download separately including characters, levels, cosmetics and similar. DLC sometimes, but not always, comes at an additional cost.

Doomscrolling – A practice on social media where the user continuously reads, or scrolls through, negative, depressing, or distressing stories.

Doxing/Doxxing – A form of harassment in which a person reveals private information (such as real name, family information, home address, phone number, or financial records) about another person on the internet, typically with malicious intent.

Dumb phone – A basic mobile phone that lacks advanced features and functionality, including limited or nonexistent internet access, apps and GPS.


Easter egg – A hidden message, surprise or extra feature cleverly placed in a video game or film for the user/viewer to find and enjoy.

E-books and E-readers – Short for electronic book or electronic reader, a technology that enables a person to read a published piece of writing through a digital format.

Echo chamber – An environment where an individual only encounters information or opinions that reflect and reinforce their own.

Edgelord – Internet slang for someone who makes wildly dark and exaggerated statements (such as on an internet forum) with the intent of shocking others.

EdTech – Short for educational technology, the practice of introducing IT tools into the classroom to create a more engaging, inclusive and individualized learning experience. Examples include: in-classroom tablets, interactive projection screens and whiteboards, and online content delivery.

Edutainment – Media designed to educate through entertainment.

Engagement rate – A social media performance indicator that is calculated as the proportion of users who interacted with content from all the people who saw it.

Emoji – Small characters like smiley faces, food items, animals, and other objects that are used within or in place of text. (Learn more at Emojipedia)

Emotional regulation – The ability to exert control over one’s own emotional state. It may involve behaviors such as rethinking a challenging situation to reduce anger or anxiety, hiding visible signs of sadness or fear, or focusing on reasons to feel happy or calm.

Equity – The recognition that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.

Equality – When each individual or group of people is given the same resources of opportunities.

Esports – Short for electronic sports, this is a form of sporting competition using video games.

Evergreen content – Refers to information that is still applicable regardless of the day, the month, or the campaign.

Evidence-based – Refers to the systematic process where decisions are made and actions or activities are undertaken using the best research available. The aim of evidence-based practice is to remove as far as possible, subjective opinion, unfounded beliefs, or bias from decisions and actions in organizations.

Executive Functioning – Mental skills including attention, organization, memory, and processing that impact how children learn and live.

Exergames – Video games that involve players having to physically move in ways that are as rigorous as traditional exercise.


Facetime – The iPhone/Apple specific video-chat app, though the term is often used to refer to any type of video-chatting.

Fact – A true statement that has been verified or proven with research and evidence.

Fake news – False or misleading information masquerading as legitimate news.

Feature phone – A mobile phone that performs basic communications functions such as making calls and sending texts, but does not usually have advanced functions such as apps or internet access.

Feed – A stream of information comprising posts, notifications, advertisements, and news on the homepage of a social media platform.

Filter – An overlay of color, saturation, or other modifications that change the appearance of an image (typically before it is posted on social media).

Filter bubble – An algorithmic bias that skews or limits the information an individual user sees on the internet.

Finsta – Short for “fake Instagram,” but used to describe accounts on multiple social media services, this is an account that is typically reserved for one’s closest friends where a user shares more open thoughts and unedited or personal images.

Flex – Internet slang to brag about something on social media.

Flip phone – A basic cell phone without internet access, called a “flip phone” because the cover flips open to reveal the screen and keypad.

FOBO – Internet abbreviation to describe a “fear of a better option.”

Follower – Someone who has subscribed to see updates on a social media user’s posts.

FOMO – Internet abbreviation to describe a “fear of missing out”.

Fourth Wall – Used to describe an imaginary wall that separates a story from the real world. In media, “breaking the fourth wall” refers to a character acknowledging their fictionality, by either indirectly or directly addressing the audience.

FPS – Video game slang for first-person shooter, a genre in which you look through the eyes of your character and that features gun-based combat. Examples include Call of Duty, Doom, and Halo.

Friend – The act of inviting a person to join your social network. (e.g., “friend me so you can see my photos”)

FYP – Internet abbreviation which means “For You Page” to refer to a feed of content curated for a specific user based on a predictive algorithm.


Gamer – Someone who plays video games, computer games, and other interactive games, and engages in online gaming communities.

Gameplay – The specific way in which players interact with video games through the game rules, the connection between player and the game, challenges and overcoming them, and the plot and player’s connection with it.

Gaslighting – Internet slang for using psychological or manipulative methods to cause someone to question their own sanity or reasoning.

Gatekeeper – Internet slang for someone who tries to control who has access to knowledge and opportunities.

Gender binary – A classification of gender into two distinct forms of masculine and feminine, whether by social system, cultural belief or both simultaneously.

Gender fluid – A non fixed gender identity that shifts over time or depending on the situation.

Gender inclusive – Neutral language that avoids reference towards a particular sex or gender.

Generation Alpha (Gen Alpha) – Demographic cohort including those born from 2010 onwards. Generation Alpha succeeds Generation Z, and is recognized as the first generation to grow up in a fully digital world.

Generation X (Gen X) – Demographic cohort including those born between the mid-1960s and the early 1980s. Gen Xers fall between Baby Boomers and Millennials, and are typically approaching the middle of their peak working careers.

Generation Y (Gen Y or Millennials) – Demographic cohort including those born between 1981 and the mid 1990s. Millennials fall between Gen X and Gen Z, and were the first generation to be dubbed digital natives for their elevated usage and familiarity with digital technology.

Generation Z (Gen Z) – Demographic cohort including those born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s. Gen Zers fall between Millennials and Gen Alpha, and were the first generation to be dubbed digitally literate with access to the internet and portable digital technology from a young age.

Generative AI (genAI) – Artificial intelligence system that is designed to process prompts from users and respond with text, images, audio or other output that is modeled on an existing training data set.

Geotracking – Technology that provides the ability to find the exact position of a person or object by obtaining data from their smartphone or other GPS-enabled device.

GG – Video game slang for “good game,” one of the most common phrases used in the gaming community to denote sportsmanship.

Ghost – To purposefully ignore someone, often used to describe someone ignoring repeated text messages.

GIF – Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), a short animation or video clip that is shareable on social media and text messages, often used to emphasize an emotion or expression.

Gig economy – A labor market characterized by the prevalence of freelancers, independent contractors, project-based workers and temporary or part-time hires.

Glitch – A bug or unintended issue in code that affects the performance or enjoyment of a product or game.

GOAT – Internet slang for “greatest of all time.”

Goblin mode – A type of behavior that is self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.

GPU – Graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialized electronic circuit designed to accelerate computer graphics and image process.

GPT – Internet abbreviation for generative pre-trained transformer (GPT). A type of machine learning algorithm that uses deep learning and a large database of training text to generate new text in response to a user’s prompt.

Grammable – Internet slang for an image that is suitable to be posted online.

Greenwashing – The practice of promoting or affiliating a brand, campaign, mission with environmentalism as a ploy to divert attention from policy and activities that are anti-environmentalist.

Grinding – The act of taking repetitive actions in a video game to achieve a desired outcome.

GUI – A graphical user interface (GUI) is a layer of technology with which a user engages that allows them to visually interact through things like icons, menus, and other graphics.


Handle – Designated by the @ symbol, this is one’s username or alias on social media sites.

Hallucination – Internet slang for a plausible but false or misleading response generated by an artificial intelligence algorithm.

Hardware – The physical components of a device that enable major functions such as output, input, storage, communication, and processing.

Hash matching – Compares certain pieces of content such as videos, pictures or text, to a database of illegal content. It is done by turning the content into “hashes”, a sample of the content a bit like a fingerprint and is used primarily for promoting online safety.

Hashtag – The # symbol, which, when followed by a word or words, functions as a category name and allows social media users to sort and search for posts that share its categorization.

Hater – Internet slang for someone who shares hurtful and discouraging messages about another person.

HP – Video game slang for “health points” to measure the vitality of your character. Typically when HP drops to zero, the character dies and the game ends.

Hyperlink – A link from a file or document to another location or file, typically activated by clicking on a highlighted word or image on the screen.


IAT (Internet Addiction Test) – A test that asks questions about how one uses the Internet, and determines if they have a healthy or unhealthy relationship with using the Internet.

Icon – A graphic symbol for an app, function, or software.

Identity – The qualities, beliefs, personality traits, appearance and/or expressions that characterize a person for a group.

Inclusive – Aiming to provide equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those having physical or intellectual disabilities or belonging to other minority groups.

Infinite scrolling – Platforms that feed users an endless amount of content in text, image, or video when the user scrolls or clicks.

Influencer – A popular individual with a heavy social media presence who is frequently sponsored by companies to feature their products. Mega and celebrity influencers typically have a follower count of 1,000,000+.

Information – Knowledge obtained from investigation, research or instruction.

Internet – A global interconnected system of computer networks.

Instagram – A social media platform that allows users to share multimedia images and videos.

IP Address – Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique string of characters that identify and locate individual computers communicating over a network.

Imaginary play – The act of play where settings, characters, and/or objects are created in one’s mind and engaged with as if they were real.

IRL – Internet slang for “in real life” which is used to denote something happening in the natural world.

IYKYK – Internet abbreviation for “if you know, you know.”



KDR – Video game abbreviation for “kill-to-death ratio,” a common measure of performance in online shooting games.


Lag – The delay between the action of the user and the reaction of the server supporting the task. This often happens when the network is congested with too much traffic, or when a computer does not have enough processing power.

LAN – A local area network (LAN) is a computer network that connects computers within a limited area such as a residence, school or office building.The computers in a LAN connect to each other via TCP/IP ethernet or Wi-Fi.

LGBTQIA – Stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Agender and more” as an inclusive way of representing a diverse range of sexualities and gender identities. The first four letters of the acronym have been used since the 1990s but in recent years there has been increased awareness of the need to offer better representation.

Like – A system of offering approval of a post on social media, providing a “thumbs up” or a “heart”.

Lip pillow – Internet slang used to talk about nicotine pouches.

Lit – Internet slang used to describe something cool, awesome, fun or high-energy.

Livestreaming – Broadcasting a situation in real-time over a social media platform. (see also: Video game livestreaming)

LLM – A large language model (LLM) is a type of machine learning algorithm trained on extremely large data sets of existing language and designed to generate new, naturalistic responses to prompts.

Lore – Internet slang for secret background information about a person.

Lurker/Lurking – Someone who is present on a message board, forum, or webpage but does not participate; the act of watching others participate in an activity without participating yourself.


Machine learning – A branch of artificial intelligence that uses statistical techniques or algorithms to enable a computer to become better at what it does.

Macro-influencer – An influencer with a follower count within the range of 100,000-1,000,000.

Main character syndrome – Internet slang used to describe someone who is self-centered, out of touch or has a grandiose sense of importance.

Mainstream – Popular, widely-known, trendy.

Mashing – Video game slang for pressing random buttons at a fast rate to impact the outcome of the game.

Mastery – To help your child achieve agency and independence by helping them to make intentional choices and recover from their mistakes. For more, see The 5Ms of Digital Wellness.

Media – The collective term for different types of mass communication including television, radio, and internet.

Media literacy – The ability to consume, engage with, and create media critically.

Media use agreement – A document that families create together to describe how and when they will use devices and media, how they will hold one another accountable to these expectations, and what will happen when someone breaks the agreement.

Meme – A humorous image or phrase that is circulated and/or referenced widely.

Memories – To make it a priority to spend uninterrupted technology-free time with your child. For more, see The 5Ms of Digital Wellness.

Mental health – Encompasses emotional, psychological, and social well-being and affects how we think, feel, and act. Mental health also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Mental illness – Health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking, behavior or a combination of these. Mental illness can be associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.

Mention – A means to draw attention to or give credit to another person or group by utilizing the @username of the person or group on the relevant social media site.

Mentor – To empower and teach your child to use technology and digital media in a healthy and responsible way. For more, see The 5Ms of Digital Wellness.

Metaverse – An immersive, persistent, interoperable virtual social space where users can interact with one another or with computers.

Micro-influencer – An influencer with a follower count within the range of 10,000-100,000. followers.

Misinformation – Content or statements that spread false or inaccurate information, with or without the intent to mislead.

Mindful media use – Regular reflection of how media use is making you feel about yourself or others, how often you are engaging with it, and how you could have a more healthy relationship with media.

Minecraft – A popular sandbox video game with construction, crafting, exploration and combat mechanics, available on many gaming platforms.

MMORPG – Video game abbreviation for “massively multiplayer online role-playing game,” a type of game where thousands of players all exist in the same online open-world server simultaneously. Examples include World of Warcraft, EverQuest and Final Fantasy.

Mob – Refers to hostile non-playable characters in video games that usually attack the player and the player must fight it off to survive.

Mod – A modification (or mod) is any kind of player-made change to a video game, ranging from small tweaks that fix bugs to entirely new games built on the original’s core.

Model – To set a good example by behaving the way you want your child to – both online and off. For more, see The 5Ms of Digital Wellness.

Monitor – To create a media use agreement with your child, actively observe their behaviors, and enforce boundaries consistently. For more, see The 5Ms of Digital Wellness.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) – A multi-step account login process that requires users to enter more information than just a password. MFA acts as an additional layer of security to prevent unauthorized users from accessing an account.

Multimodal – Used to describe products that have multiple “modes” of communication to allow for a more complex and enriched experience. For example a combination of text, images, motion and audio.

Multitasking – Engaging in more than one activity at the same time.

Mx. – A gender-neutral title used in the same way as gendered titles like “Miss” and “Mr.” Like the singular “they,” it’s used for people who identify as neither male nor female, or people who simply don’t want to be identified based on their gender.


Nano-influencer – An influencer with a follower count within the range of 1,000-10,000.

Nepo baby – Internet slang for a person with a parent who is famous, especially one whose industry connections are perceived as essential to their success.

Netiquette – The social rules and norms for proper behavior online.

Network – A group of individuals or groups that are connected.

Neural networks – Structured to be similar to the human brain, this AI model incorporates natural language processing and deep learning to identify faces in photos and analyze handwriting.

Neuroatypical – Where cognitive abilities and associated learning, mood, attention, sociability and other mental functions do not present as typical of the large population.

Neurodiversity – A framework for understanding human brain function and mental illness which proposes diversity in human cognition is normal.

Newsjacking – Involves hopping on current events with your social media to engage with your audience.

NFT – Short for non-fungible token, this is a digital asset that is exchanged using blockchain technology.

NLP – Natural language processing (NLP) is a field of AI that allows computers to understand and process human language. More sophisticated programs can decipher speech in various languages, understanding not only vocabulary but also pulling out context and hidden meanings.

Nomophobia – Used to describe a psychological condition when people have a fear of being detached from mobile phone connectivity (NO MObile PHOne PhoBIA).

Noob – Someone who is a beginner or doesn’t know what they’re doing. Also written as n00b or newb.

Non-binary gender – Existing or identifying outside the gender binary, not exclusively male or female. Also referred to as genderqueer.

Notification – An alert (typically a pop-up or other message) generated by an application to notify the user of a new message, update, or social media post.

NSFW – Internet slang for “not safe for work,” applied to content that is considered inappropriate for viewing in a professional setting.


Obesity – A health disorder where an individual’s amount of body fat exceeds healthy body weight, which can lead to a number of other health issues.

Online dating – A method used by people with a goal of searching for and interacting with potential romantic or sexual partners, via the internet.

Online disinhibition effect – Refers to the lack of restraint one feels when communicating online in comparison to communicating in-person. People tend to feel safer saying things online which they would not say in real life because they have the ability to remain completely anonymous and invisible when on particular websites, and as a result, free from potential consequences.

Open AI – Refers to AI systems or frameworks that are accessible and available for a broader community.

Opinion – A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

Overshare – To tell too much about one’s life, typically over the Internet. (see also: TMI)


Parasocial –  A one-sided relationship, involving or relating to an unreciprocated intimate connection, between a person and someone they do not know personally. Examples include viewers or fans in a parasocial relationship with celebrities, prominent media figures or fictional characters.

Parental controls – Settings available in digital applications and many television streaming services that control the type of content a user can engage with.

Passkey – An authentication method that uses biometrics (such as fingerprint or facial recognition) to identity and grant access to an authorized user.

Passive screen use – Watching or reading screen-based media that doesn’t require thinking or active engagement, such as scrolling through social media feeds or watching videos online. (see also: Receptive screen use)

PCIAT (Parent-Child Internet Addiction Test) – A test that asks parents questions about how their child uses the Internet, to determine if their child has a healthy or unhealthy relationship with using the Internet.

PFP – Internet abbreviation for “profile picture” or “picture for proof” to help establish one’s identity online.

Pharming – A malicious website that resembles a legitimate website, used to gather usernames and passwords.

Photobomb – Typically, a person or animal who sneaks into a photo without the photographer (or subjects) realizing or intending to include them.

Phishing – The fraudulent practice of sending deceptive messages (disguised from a legitimate, trustworthy site) in order to induce individuals to reveal confidential information such as passwords or credit card numbers.

Phubbing – Internet slang for snubbing a physically present person in favor of a mobile phone.

PIMEyes – An advanced recognition search engine, a reverse image search tool, and a photo search mechanism used to find which websites publish your photos to help monitor your image online.

Platform – A social media platform refers to an online digital service, app or website that enables users to create, share, and interact with content and connect with other users

PMT – Parent Management Training (PMT) is an evidence-based therapy program that trains parents/caregivers/families to effectively manage their children’s problematic or disruptive behaviors.

Podcasts – Radio-like programming that can be accessed through audio-streaming services, ranging from news reports to fictional storytelling.

Pornography – Sexually explicit photos or videos.

POS – Internet slang used to indicate “parents over shoulder,” ie: parents can see what we’re writing.

Post – Anything you share on social media, from photos to videos to status updates.

POV – Internet abbreviation for “point of view.”

PPRA – The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) from the US Department of Education seeks to protect students’ privacy by requiring parental notice and consent/opt-out for surveys of students that address protected topics including political affiliations; mental health; sexual behavior; illegal or demeaning behavior; religious beliefs; and income.

Pre-internet – Refers to the period of time before the widespread availability and use of the internet, roughly from the mid-20th century until the early 1990s, when the internet began to be commercially accessible to the public.

Pre-verbal – The stage before a child has acquired the ability to speak understandable language; children at this stage communicate using gestures and sounds.

Privacy setting – The part of a social networking website, internet browser, or piece of software that allows you to control who sees information about you.

Pro-ana – Internet slang used to promote anorexia websites, which encourage harmful behaviors and negative mindsets with eating disorders.

Problematic Interactive Media Use (PIMU) – Overuse of digital media that interferes with a child’s balanced, healthy life and can lead to poor school performance, family conflicts, emotional and psychological concerns and relationship problems. Also referred to as “gaming disorder,” “internet addiction,” or “media addiction”.

Profile – A self-created overview of who a person is, what they are interested in, and any other details they might want to share in an online setting.

Programmer – An individual who designs, develops and tests software and ensures software adheres to best practices in performance, reliability and security.

Prompt – An instruction given to an AI program or algorithm which determines or influences the content it generates.

Pronouns – Gender pronouns are the set of words that an individual uses to reflect that person’s preferred gender identity. Examples include he/him, she/her, they/them, ze/zir.

Prosocial – Relating to or denoting behavior which is positive, helpful, and intended to promote social acceptance and friendship.

Psychotherapy – A type of evidence-based treatment that targets the mind, specifically thoughts and behaviors. By talking with a psychologist, psychiatrist or other mental health providers, psychotherapy can help individuals experiencing a wide array of mental health conditions and emotional challenges.

Pulse Survey – A research method that allows for quick data collection to “take the pulse” of participants’ opinions and experiences on various topics.

PvP/PvE – Video game slang for “player versus player,” refers to games or modes where human players compete against each other. This contrasts with “player versus environment/enemy” where one plays against computer-controlled opponents.

Pwned – Video game slang, it is an intentional misspelling of the word “owned,” that indicates that a user was defeated or humiliated.


QQ – Internet slang for “crying,” as the two Q’s look like teary eyes. In the gaming world, it is used as a taunt against players seen as unskilled or weak.

Queerbaiting – To lure, engage or attract an LGBTQ audience without ever actually depicting or recognizing such relationships.


Rage farming – The tactic of intentionally provoking an adversary, typically by posting inflammatory content on social media, in order to elicit angry responses and thus gain high engagement or widespread exposure for the original poster.

Ragequit – When an opponent abruptly leaves a game due to frustration over lag, performance or bad luck.

Rating – A score given to something to describe its quality or its age-appropriateness.

React – Selecting an emoji to describe the emotional response you have to someone’s post; typically used to refer to Facebook actions.

Receptive screen use – Watching or reading screen-based media that doesn’t require thinking or active engagement, such as scrolling through social media feeds or watching videos online. (see also: Passive screen use)

Remote learning – Where the student and the educator, or information source, are not physically present in a traditional classroom environment. Also called distance learning.

Repost – The act of sharing someone else’s social media content on your own platform.

Research – The system of investigating/exploring different questions or subject areas to better understand them and draw conclusions.

Respawn – Video game slang that refers to a character reappearing after having been defeated or killed.

Revenge porn – A form of sexual abuse that involves the digital distribution of nude or sexually explicit photos or videos of a person without their consent, often as retaliation or blackmail by a current or former partner.

Rizz – Internet slang for someone who has great charisma, or is very charming and engaging.

Roblox – Online game platform that allows users to program games and play games created by other users.

RPG – Role-playing games (RPG) are a broad genre of video games that are typically story-rich with immersive worlds in which characters have a variety of stats and items that increase through battles and quests. Examples include Pokemon, Dragon Quest, Baldur’s Gate and Super Mario Bros.


Sadness – A feeling where one is unhappy or low; can be caused by a number of experiences internally or externally.

Satire – The use of humor, sarcasm, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose and criticize.

Screenshot – Taking an image or photograph of one’s own phone or computer screen.

Screentime – Term used for sedentary activities done in front of a screen, such as watching TV, working on a computer, or playing video games.

Self-esteem – How an individual sees themselves in terms of social acceptance, worth, and likeability.

Selfie – A photo an individual takes of themselves.

Self-regulation – The ability to understand and manage your behavior and your reactions to feelings and things happening around you.

Sexting – The exchanging of sexually explicit content via text message.

Shade – Internet slang for a subtle or sneering expression, usually of contempt or disgust.

Sharing – Posting an item to social media for your network to see.

Shadowbanning – Refers to blocking or partially blocking users in a way that’s not readily apparent. Also called stealth banning or ghost banning.

Sharenting – The use of social media to post thoughts or images about one’s children or one’s experience of parenting.

Short form video – Refers to shorter length videos, such as those on Instagram reels or TikTok. Short form videos are more easily consumable, especially on mobile devices, and tend to be shot in portrait mode.

Skin – A cosmetic change to a character that has no effect on gameplay. Many video games use skins as a way to entice players to spend money, or as a reward for completing difficult tasks.

Situationship – Internet slang for a romantic relationship that isn’t quite a full-on relationship.

Slay – Internet slang for something impressive, mostly used as an expression of admiration.

Sleep hygiene – Refers to healthy habits, behaviors and environmental factors that can be adjusted to help pave the way for higher-quality sleep and better overall health.

Sleeping on – Internet slang that refers to a person missing out on something good.

Smartphone – A mobile phone that is also a handheld computer with internet access. Smartphones often include voice recorders, cameras, video recorders, and music players.

Smartwatch – A modern wristwatch that includes computerized functionality (such as the ability to display text messages or notifications) and helps the user keep track of their health, lifestyle and activity.

Smishing – The practice of sending text messages to someone in order to trick the person into revealing personal or confidential information, which can then be used for criminal purposes.

Smurf – Video game slang that refers to a skilled player making a secondary account to play against lower-ranked opponents, thereby manipulating the ranking system to keep their account at the desired skill level.

Snapchat– A multimedia instant messaging app and service that allows users to send and receive photos, or snaps, that are only available for a short time before they disappear.

Social distancing – The act of being six feet apart from another person in a social setting to minimize the risk of spreading an illness.

Social emotional health – The ability to understand and regulate emotions and to form secure social connections and relationships with the world around us.

Social emotional learning (SEL) – The process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions (Credit: CASEL)

Social media – Interactive technologies that enable the creation and transmission of ideas, content, interests and other forms of expression through virtual communities and networks.

Social play – Peer-based collaborative play interactions, usually between young children.

Source code – The set of instructions and statements written by a programmer using a computer programming language such as C, C++, Java, Python, Assembly.

Spamdexing – The deliberate manipulation of search engine indexes, including link building and repeating unrelated phrases, to influence the relevance or prominence of indexed resources.

Spear phishing – Occurs when criminals obtain information about an individual from websites or social networking sites, and customize a phishing scheme to that specific person.

Sponsored posts – Posts that celebrities and influencers create where they are paid to promote or endorse a product to their followers.

Spoofing – Describes someone who impersonates another individual or organization, with the intent to gather personal or business information.

Squad – Internet slang for a close friend group.

Stan – Internet slang for an obsessive fan, typically of a celebrity or band.

Status – A statement a user writes and shares on their social media pages to describe their current thoughts, emotions, actions, and/or location.

Story – A collection of brief videos, photos, or messages posted to a social media platform that will disappear after a period of 24 hours; commonly used on Instagram and Facebook

Streaming – The delivering and receiving of media content using the internet.

Subscribe – A free and straightforward way to stay connected with creators and their content by opting in to their communications (e.g. YouTube channel, newsletter, etc).

Subscription – An optional paid feature, similar to a membership, that provides additional access, products, services, perks and benefits.

Substance use – Participating in the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, or medications (outside their prescribed use).

Suicidal ideation – Thoughts of taking one’s own life.

Super peer – Media that strongly influences the thoughts and actions of children and teens may be considered a super peer.

Supervised learning – A form of machine learning that does not function independently but requires human input. Data is presented into the machine and the process is supervised by a person while the computer works towards a specific outcome.

Sus – Internet slang for suspicious, and is sometimes used as a homophobic slur.

Swatting – The (typically criminal) act of making a prank emergency call in an attempt to bring police officers to someone’s house.


Tablet – A mobile device that functions similarly to a laptop, but is smaller, more portable, and has a touch screen.

Tag – A way to identify a person in a photo posted online that, when clicked, will link to that user’s social media page.

Targeting – Focusing attention onto a specific person or item.

Technoference – The disruption of interpersonal interactions caused by the presence of technological devices.

Text/Text message – A typed message sent from an individual to one or more recipients via cell phone.

Thread – A string of posts or messages that make up a conversation.

Thinspiration – Media that encourage an individual to maintain or pursue a lower, typically unhealthy, body weight.

Thirst trap – Internet slang for a photograph (such as a selfie) or video shared for the purpose of attracting attention or desire.

TikTok – A social media platform that allows users to create, share, and discover short form videos.

Timeline – A list of everything a user has shared, reacted to, or received on Facebook.

TL;DR – Internet abbreviation for “too long; didn’t read”.

TMI – Internet abbreviation for “too much information,” to tell too much about one’s life, typically over the Internet. (see also: Overshare)

Tokenomics – The emerging field of the study of the supply, demand, distribution and valuation of cryptocurrencies.

Touch grass – Internet slang which means “go outside.” Usually used in an insulting way to imply that someone spends too much time online.

Trauma dumping – Internet slang which refers to oversharing, typically of distressing experiences, with people who haven’t agreed to or aren’t prepared to have that conversation.

Transgender – Denoting or relating to a person whose gender identity does not correspond with the sex registered for them at birth.

Trending – The most popular topics or keywords on a given website or social media platform.

Troll – An internet user who makes bullying, controversial, or inflammatory comments or posts in order to manipulate others’ emotional responses.

Tween – Slang term for a preteen child, usually 10-12 years of age.

Tweet – A post on the social media platform Twitter with a maximum of 280 characters.

Twitch – A livestreaming platform where users can watch livestreams or recorded videos of video gameplay.


Under-connected – Term used to describe the digital divide in rural, urban and inner-city areas where individuals or communities have less internet access, speed and affordability.

Unfollow – When someone unsubscribes to your content and will no longer see it in their feed.

UGC – User-generated content (UGC) is when brands take posts from people with their permission and share them on their social profiles.

UI – The user interface (UI) refers to anything a user may interact with to use a digital product or service, including screens, touchscreens, keyboards, sounds and lights.

Unsupervised learning – A form of machine learning that requires little or no human involvement which allows a machine to draw conclusions on its own from patterns that it finds.

URL – The uniform resource locator (URL) is the unique address of a webpage on the internet.

User – An individual who utilizes a computer or network service. A user often has a user account and is identified to the system by a username.

UX – The user experience (UX) describes the quality of the experience an end user has with a specific product, service, company or brand.


Vaping – The act of smoking an e-cigarette, called vaping due to the vapor produced by an oil cartridge in the device.

Verified – Proving identity to a social media platform and, in return, receiving a checkmark of verification next to your name on your profile. Verified is typically reserved for celebrities, famous brands, and other public figures to prevent users from interacting with fraudulent accounts/copycats.

Vibe check – Internet slang to make sure someone is having a good time.

Video chat – Talking to another person using live video; often used interchangeably with Facetime.

Video game – A game played by controlling digital images produced by a computer program on a TV, mobile device, or other screen.

Video game livestreaming – When video game players broadcast their gameplay to a public audience using online services.

Viral – Rapidly widespread, shared over multiple media platforms.

Viral social media challenge – Typically involves users recording themselves performing unusual, dramatic, funny, or risky actions and sharing this content with others who can then perform the act themselves, thereby accepting, completing, and continuing to share the challenge.

Virtual influencer – A computer-generated fictional character designed to interact with and engage audiences on social media platforms. Also called AI influencer.

Virtual Reality (VR) – A setting or environment that is completely computer-generated but has the feeling of being real. A user engaging with virtual reality can use special sensors and goggles to interact with the virtual environment.

Vlogging – A form of blogging through a video format. A vlogger is someone who typically shares what’s happening in their daily lives with their followers.


Webinar – An online broadcast of a presentation designed to educate an audience.

Well-being – A combination of an individual’s physical, mental, emotional and social health factors contributing to overall happiness, comfort, satisfaction, and quality of life.

WhatsApp – Similar to text messaging, this app allows users to share messages, images, and short videos directly with one another over the internet.

Wi-Fi – Wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed Internet access. Wi-Fi is not an abbreviation for wireless fidelity, a common misconception.

Woke – Internet slang to be socially alert and conscious, including broader awareness of social inequalities such as racial injustice, discrimination, prejudice, sexism and LGBT rights.


XP/EXP – Video game abbreviation for “Experience Points” which are collected as a player and their character progresses through a game, most often seen in role-playing games.


YouTube – A video streaming platform where users can watch and post videos.


Zoom – A video-conferencing platform used for virtual meetings, classes, and social gatherings.

Zoombomb – A disruption caused by an unexpected participant into a video conference call; the act of interrupting a video conference call you were not invited to.

zzz – Internet slang for “sleeping,” usually to indicate fatigue or boredom.