Wondering about a word you read or heard? Check out the list of media, health, and technology terms below and learn a new term today!
Glossary of Media Terms
Ads – Images or videos designed to sell a product that appear on television, social media, or before online videos. Advertisements on social media are frequently targeted to a user’s interests and prior searches, so that the viewer is more likely to pay attention to the ad.
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.
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, how many times a link has been opened).
Augmented Reality/AR – A function of smartphones and other technologies used primarily for gaming that allows users to view features of the game (characters, objects) as if they were appearing in the real world. This type of gaming was popularized by PokemonGo, where users could use their phones to “spot” Pokemon in their surroundings.
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.
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 advertisements they create with the intention of attracting a certain type of customer.
CAPTCHA – A tool to help differentiate between humans and robots. It stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” and often comes in the form of a task to “retype these letters and numbers” or “select all of the images that have a stop sign in them.”
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 intriguing headlines (for example: “You Won’t BELIEVE What This Celebrity Looks Like Now!”).
Co-viewing/Joint Engagement – The act of watching or engaging with a medium together (for example, a parent and child watching a tv show together and talking about what they see), known to mitigate negative aspects of media consumption.
Joint Engagement/Co-Viewing – The act of watching or engaging with a medium together (for example, a parent and child watching a tv show together and talking about what they see), known to mitigate negative aspects of media consumption.
LGBTQ+ – Initials that stand for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and more;” an inclusive way of identifying the community of individuals whose sexual identity is not heterosexual (between a man and a woman).
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.
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.
Social emotional learning – 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)
Swatting – The act of making a prank emergency call (such as calling 911) in an attempt to bring police officers (or the SWAT team) to someone’s house, typically while they are livestreaming. Swatting is generally a criminal offense and very dangerous.
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 to “move” within the virtual environment.