Brain Hacking – Top Internet Term of 2018: Big Tech Gets Us Addicted

Each year I identify the Top Internet Jargon of the Year, the Top Internet Acronym of the Year, the worthy terms that made the Top 10 List, and 5 online trends to look for in the coming year. 

The Internet term of 2018 is brain hacking, and the Top Internet Acronym of the Year is NSFW – Not Safe For Work; the rest of the list includes: clap back, co-working, FIRE, woke, lawnmower parent, QAnon, #TFA and blockchain. Check it out! HOW MANY HAVE YOU HEARD OF?

Everyone's talking tech this year, from POTUS to Congress and Millennials to Big Tech. Here are the Top 10 Internet Terms for 2018. Explanations of the linked terms are on

1. brain hacking - 2018 Jargon of the Year, big tech is hooking us by making smartphones a habit, even Silicon Valley is ditching their devices due to Internet addiction, digital detox and child tech addiction. ADULTS: Please take this 8-question quiz, and for your KIDS: please ask them this 12-question quiz. The term "brain hacking" comes from hijacking peoples' minds to form a habit and it specifically refers to the way Silicon Valley is engineering smartphones, apps and social media to get us hooked, and to get you and your family to feel the need to check in constantly. You know when you're on a mobile social media site and you pull down on the news feed to get it to refresh, and you see that little circle scrolling clockwise... that's called the pull-down refresh and the guy who invented it, is sorry he did because people are now addicted. Read the full story here.

2. NSFW - 2018 Acronym of the Year "Not Safe For Work" from post-#MeToo movements to celebrities tweeting “NSFW headlines” it inspired the new book “NSFW: The Little Black Book of Acronyms

3. clap back - If Oxford’s word is toxic, then the twitterverse is clapping back… it’s a noun, it’s a verb, it’s never been used more than NOW as influencers continue to perfect the art of the clapback, thx Ja Rule

4. co-working – sharing workplaces, it’s a millennial trend with co-living and co-sharing; working in the industry and living in urban areas is impacting people’s lives and creating new business opportunities

5. FIRE – it means "Financial Independence, Retire Early" bravo to millennial crusaders who are geeking out calculating compound interest and blowing up the whole concept of career and retirement

6. woke – young and old are becoming aware, like a man who’s a feminist, or a person's awareness of current affairs, it implies knowledge and empathy as in "You’re woke, so now things are, you know, real."

7. lawnmower parent – first tiger, then elephant, helicopter, dolphin, attachment, free-range,  lawnmowers "mow down" a path for their snowflakes removing all obstacles that may cause a struggle

8. QAnon – what started as a cryptic post grew into a sprawling alternative theory about all things fake

9. #TFA – Omarosa said “they'd just hashtag it ‘TFA’ and move on when Trump did something insane,” it refers to the Twenty Fifth Amendment, as in the removal of the POTUS in the event of impairment…

10. blockchain – the muscle behind bitcoin (which Scrabble just added) it makes bitcoin transactions secure, reliable, and anonymous, it fueled a cryptocurrency craze and helps with ocean plastic too!

Read more about the bold terms on and the Top 5 Online Trends to Watch in 2019:
1. deepfake / facial recognition / faceprint – OMG deepfake wait until you see the photo
2. social credit / social scoring / reputation score – scary stuff from China, wait it’s from big tech too
3. AI / artificial intelligence / machine learning / robotics – unbelievable developments
4. YIMBY & JOMO - Yes In My Back Yard & Joy Of Missing Out – new attitude (not NIMBY & FOMO)
5. CBD –  yes, as in the oil, it’s not an actual acronym because it stands for Cannabidiol

The Top 10 Internet Terms of the Year, compiled by Erin Jansen, founder of
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Please copy and distribute! Our purpose is to educate and entertain :) Get "NSFW" to Decode Flirtatious Slang for Sexty Singles

My friends at crafted an amazing write-up about the new holiday books, check it out... special thanks to Hayley Matthews!

The Scoop: If your crush texts you slang terms you don’t understand, your romance can quickly become lost in translation. Fortunately, NetLingo Founder Erin Jansen has spent over 20 years creating resources to help people keep up with common slang and netiquette, so they never miss a beat in online convos. In the last year, she has written two books that detail the texting and romantic slang today’s daters need to know to get their flirt on.

It’s tempting to overanalyze every word, punctuation mark, and emoji in a text message from a crush. What did he mean by “just hangin”? Was he implying that he was free to hang out with me? Or what did she mean by that smiley face at the end of her reply? Is that a signal that she wants to be more than friends?

Each exclamation point and word choice can offer a clue into that person’s mindset, so it all goes under the microscope as someone tries to figure out if that person is interested in a relationship — or if it’s time to get someone else’s digits.

NetLingo Founder Erin Jansen is an authority on online communication and internet slang.
Of course, sometimes riddling out what your crush writes means keeping pace with the ever-changing internet and texting slang. NetLingo can help with that. Erin Jansen founded NetLingo in 1995 because she saw the internet changing how people communicated and wanted to create a database to reflect new slang, acronyms, and other jargon.

NetLingo now boasts the largest list of texting acronyms and sees over 3 million pageviews a year. Erin has embraced the nickname “NetLingo Girl” and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, BBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, and “The Martha Stewart Show” to discuss how technology impacts how we communicate and relate to one another.

Erin’s latest book, “NSFW: The Little Black Book of Acronyms,” focuses on defining the flirty terms that are most relevant to modern singles. Its list of naughty abbreviations is a helpful guide for anyone attempting to woo a date online.

“This ever-evolving lexicon just keeps growing, and someone has to decipher and deliver it,” Erin said. “That’s where I come in: the NetLingo Girl. We may not talk this way, but we definitely type this way, and it’s a strange communication that needs decoding.”

Exposing Dirty Talk & Romantic Lingo on the Naughty List

We’ll never know who first decided to type “qt” instead of “cutie” or “ilu” instead of “I love you,” but such terms caught on because they save texters time and make the conversation feel more intimate — as if you share a language all your own.

“We obviously can’t type as fast as we talk, so that’s how this abbreviated language evolved,” Erin explained. “Plus, people have an easier time being sexy by text — it’s a new way of flirting. Online daters get to learn a new way of creatively expressing sweet nothings to their love interests.”

The NetLingo database has grown tremendously thanks to user submissions. Everyday individuals can submit a slang word or abbreviation to the site, and Erin will review it, approve it, and see it go live on the site. This moderation process has allowed her to keep pace with netspeak, 1337 speak, and online jargon.

“NSFW” would make a nice gift for naughty daters looking for their bae.

In 2018, Erin released two informative books. “Texting Terms” is a nice list of every acronym and abbreviation posted on NetLingo. “NSFW” is a naughty list of all the sexy terms she’s collected in the last 20+ years. “NSFW” is definitely “not suitable for work.” It includes sexual endearments, crude humor, profanity, and references to drugs and alcohol. The book doesn’t hold anything back and gives singles the raw, unfiltered truth. That way, next time someone asks you to tdtm (talk dirty to me), you’ll know what to do.

“When I published ‘Texting Terms,’ the naughty-nyms got lost amidst all of the other acronyms,” Erin explained, “so I played with the idea of creating a little black book version. When I tested that idea, people loved it.”

Now NetLingo users can choose to get a naughty or nice list of online slang. If you’re looking for an adults-only guidebook on sexy slang, you can pick up “NSFW” and learn all the sexty messages and brash acronyms you’ll ever need to know.

“These books can serve as a fun inspiration to keep the conversation going,” Erin said. “It’s important to understand what potential dates are texting you, so if you see an acronym you don’t understand, you can quickly look it up and determine if you should swipe right or left.”

“NSFW” is a ‘sexty’ little black book that highlights the naughty jargon evolving from our online ‘anonymous’ style of communication. Due to its mature content, “NSFW” could make the perfect gag gift for the holidays, but it’s also just a great wingman for online daters seeking ways to get the conversation rolling in a sexy direction.

“‘NSFW’ is meant to be fun,” Erin said. “I decided to give the people what they want. Once I dug deep into my analytics, I found not only is America searching for sex, but y’all talk dirty!”

“Texting Terms” Further Delves Into the Shorthand of the Day

“Texting Terms: NetLingo’s Guide to Every Online Acronym & Abbreviation You’ll Ever Need to Know” has taken NetLingo’s impressive list of texting and chat acronyms and put it into print. The book lists the shorthand and leetspeak used by people all over the world. It has over 3,000 entries, and some will leave you breathless with laughter.

You can say a lot with a little by reading up on common acronyms.

Some of the terms are fairly widespread — bae, MAGA, and imo — while others may not have come across your radar before. For instance, people who go to school or work from home may not have heard of a HIPPO, which stands for “highest paid person in the office.” It’s fun to read through this list and guess what complex abbreviations like WoMoBiJo (working mother with a big job) and 142n8ly (unforunately) mean.

“This handy guide is a great gift for adults who love to spend time online,” Erin said. “If new lingo leaves you 404, you can look up and decode any message in minutes.”

Erin uses simple language to define online acronyms used by millions of people every day. Readers can flip through this book to find a particular term or just to get a sense of the variety of abbreviations being thrown around ESEMED (every second, every minute, every day). Singles can consult this book while texting potential dates so they always look like they’re in the know.

These Slim Books Are Packed With Useful Definitions

“NSFW” and “Texting Terms” deal with slang in different ways. You’ll find sections on assicons and sexty smiles on “NSFW,” while “Texting Terms” deals with more mainstream slang. The raunchy, playful content in “NSFW” appeals to daters interested in sexting properly, while “Texting Terms” appeals to parents who want to understand what their kids are saying. Or singles wondering what a date is saying.

“NSFW” makes for a great gag gift or conversation starter at a party, while “Texting Terms” is more of a practical guidebook for the modern word nerd.

“NSFW” lists adult-friendly terms that could come up when you’re sexting.

“These slim, coffee-table books are great for anyone who loves to spend time online,” Erin said.
Erin has created fun and comprehensive resources that cover the world of online jargon with clear definitions. These books give people insight into all sorts of online conversations. “Texting Terms” even has a section on international text terms, so you can bring the book along when seeking romance abroad.

Police stations, district attorneys, and cybercrime units have trusted “Texting Terms” to help them decode cryptic messages on the web. Meanwhile, brogrammers, online daters, cougars, and other singles have used “NSFW” to help them up their flirting games on the web. Whether your interest is personal or professionals, Erin’s books can demystify textspeak for you.

Additionally, NetLingo offers a wealth of information on technology, language, and modern culture. Erin writes weekly editorials on her blog to give her two cents about headlines in the tech industry and beyond. You can also follow NetLingo on Facebook to get frequent updates on where language is going and why it matters.

Erin Jansen Educates and Entertains Today’s Daters

Since 1995, NetLingo’s online dictionary has helped people understand online jargon and common abbreviations. Many newbies have bookmarked the site to get the 411 on demand, and its popularity inspired Erin to create more authoritative and down-to-earth resources that lower the language barrier between folks online.

Now, people can turn to their hardcopy of “NSFW” or “Texting Terms” to find out what a particular slang term or online expression means. These books have highlighted NetLingo’s most relevant and noteworthy acronyms to give readers a laugh as well as some good information. Singles can use these books to help them get to the bottom of what an online crush is saying.

Erin said she hopes her online audience will appreciate seeing their slang contributions in print and that it will spark many conversations about the funniest, strangest, and most useful slang terms and acronyms.

“My mission is to educate and entertain people,” Erin said. “These books are a form of edutainment. No one else is tracking the online language this way.”

Hayley Matthews
Hayley is the Editor-in-Chief of DatingNews, and she handles editorial schedules, interviews, social media, and partnerships, among other things. She's been in the dating industry for more than six years, and her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bustle, Cosmo, the Huffington Post, AskMen, and Entrepreneur.

Whether They’re Naughty or Nice, NetLingo has Your Holiday Gifts Covered

NetLingo releases two New Internet Books specially for the Holiday Season: "Texting Terms" & "NSFW: The Little Black Book of Acronyms"

West Palm Beach, FL. November 15, 2018 - NetLingo LLC, creators of, released two new books "NSFW: The Little Black Book of Acronyms” (ISBN 097063966X $14.95) and “Texting Terms: NetLingo's Guide to Every Online Acronym & Abbreviation You'll Ever Need to Know” (ISBN 0970639686 $19.95) on, just in time for the holidays and Black Friday.

You might be thinking WTF kind of title is NSFW and why do I need a book on texting terms? These two book releases highlight online jargon, the crazy array of letters, numbers and keyboard symbols that everyone’s using to comprise our digital conversations today. And what America is talking about is revealing…
“NSFW” is a shocking, innovative and ‘sexty’ little book containing only the naughty jargon that’s evolved from our highly sexualized culture and online ‘anonymous’ style of communication. Things to say to your ‘brogrammer’ or bae :) "Not Safe For Work" is for adults 18+ only, with acronyms too provocative to list here. Mature themes also include assicons, boobiecons, sexty smileys, leet profanity and a micro dose of NASCII art. It’s the ‘little black book’ after all. Take a peek:

“Texting Terms” is NetLingo’s largest list of ALL the texting and internet acronyms. The ‘white’ version. Great for millennials and the White Elephant gift you need for the office holiday party. So, if this new lingo leaves you 404, GL trying to break the code, don’t worry, with these two books you can look up and decode any message in minutes. Both make great coffee table books, ‘toilet humor’ books, gag gifts and fun conversation starters.

NetLingo is the authoritative resource for internet acronyms and online culture, tracking thousands of terms about cyber business, technology, programming and of course, online jargon - the universal ‘net lingo’ used by millions of people on social media, smartphones and the web. “With the internet, new and ever-evolving language continues to emerge,” says Erin Jansen, founder, editor and scribe since 1995, and adds “it’s only getting bigger.” Erin receives new terms daily from her thousands of users, verifies their actual usage, then edits and adds them to the website each month.

The ‘NetLingo Girl’ is considered a web pioneer and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, BBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, and the Martha Stewart Show. She is an Internet Specialist, Social Psychologist, and writer and speaker on culturally relevant issues about technology and how it impacts our lives. At, her mission is to educate and entertain people worldwide about online culture and communication.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Please copy and distribute
NetLingo is a trademarked product of NetLingo LLC &
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Press Contact: Rossana Jeran    310-663-7734   

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Sex Sells. Let’s A/B Test that Puppy and See Who Bites

Now that the mid-terms are over let's switch it up and have some fun! I did one silly little video about “prairie dogging” on YouTube and it immediately got 36,000 views. Viewers thought it was the “toilet humor” version (which apparently everyone knows about) but instead it was the “geek humor” version (which many of you still don’t know about). Didn’t matter… here was a term that straddled both worlds and in the offline world, it was about something “dirty” so it generated enough views that Google wanted me to put an ad on it.

I make money online with ads but I didn’t bite. I could’ve gone online and explained every little naughty term there is to be had on the Internet in my bikini (that’s what I do, track Internet terms and wear bikinis). Or topless, like the Dutch meteorologists in my motherland do. My BFF and I are geek girls… we get it, we talk about it, and she’s definitely a hot MILF. We’ve often thought we should continue my original NetLingo mission about explaining technology from a woman’s point of view on a vlog. We’d be great… even better than Soledad O'Brien was back in my CNET days. We should probably still do it, half-clothed of course.

It was that idea which inspired my little video exercise, mind you “prairie dogging” isn’t even a sexy term. The funny online explanation is slang for when someone drops something loudly at work in a cube farm and everyone's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on. The funny offline explanation is when you have to take a crap so bad the turd is popping in and out until you get the chance to release it. Even Planet Mancow didn’t know that definition when I was on national TV with him; sorry Erich Muller but there’s a NetLingo word for that: 404.

I decided to investigate the online jargon I’ve been tracking all these years so I dug deep into my analytics and found, you don't say, America is searching for sex. Gang, I’m an online pioneer, I’ve been writing about internet jargon and cyber culture since the beginning --even before 1995 when the web browser was first commercially released-- and sure enough, y'all talk dirty!

Having worked in the industry all of my professional life, I read publications and hear terms, but I’m also an academic researcher, a Social Psychologist, hell I’m even considered a Linguist, and I’ve never censored anything on It cracks me up, I’ll get a smiley submission from an Intel engineer :) and a detailed net neutrality update from a millennial: We all speak some form of net lingo online. Unlike Urban Dictionary, NetLingo is still moderated and curated. But like Urban Dictionary, the sexy themes keep coming in and standing out.

So, I decided to own it. Give you a taste of what you seem to want. I bit. Now I’m committed. And I’m gonna bring it. Let’s take a look at the naughty side of our online communication with the new book “NSFW: The Little Black Book of Acronyms.” To be able to finally showcase the fun and flirty terms is getting me excited for the holiday season! Were you and your friends NAUGHTY or NICE this year? We've got “NSFW: The Black Book of Acronyms” for your NAUGHTY list, and “Texting Terms” the white version for your NICE list.. take a peek!

Dudes, peeps, my NetLingo friends, I am loving my new "NSFW" book so don’t be surprised when you see my digital doppelganger showing up in my social media feeds. I need a break from all this "Big Tech Politik" Mr. POTUS and chuckle on my toilet for a change. Better yet I’ll be by the pool sexting my bae some “Not Safe For Work” fantasies. It totally helps to flip through this “sexty little book” while I’m doing so... someone get the Kardashians a copy of “NSFW” stat.

- Erin Jansen, Internet Specialist, Social Psychologist, Founder of
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WTF? He Told You the Motive on Social Media: No More “Hopes and Prayers”

If I thought Congress was ignorant about internet technology, you must be idiots regarding guns.

The Thousand Oaks gunman actually took the time, in between killing 12 people, to post on his Instagram during last week’s massacre. Was he asking for forgiveness or acknowledging he was crazy? No. He was mocking you Congress. Not only did he have no reason to do it, he called you out specifically:

“…the only thing you people do after these shootings is 'hopes and prayers'...or 'keep you in my thoughts'. Every time...and wonder why these keep happening... --(two smiley face emojis)."

It’s chilling how social media has given murderers the platform they need to get the attention they want. Anyone in Big Tech who’s made money off of social media is culpable: your creations are causing addiction, teen suicide, live video morbidity, and it’s only getting worse. Hollywood needs to cut out the gun violence crap, and you know why reality TV celebrities suck? Because they’ve inspired this desperate “get rich quick” for your “15-minutes of fame” behavior. Nobody needs more than $10 million in your bank account; if you do you’re just plain greedy. There’s a NetLingo word for that: anus envy.

The fact that this person used two smiley face emojis is psychopathic. Yes, dude you are suicidal and insane, and I’m not giving in to your quest by even mentioning your name. Why do these guys always seem to have three names anyway? Momma’s don’t let your babies grow up with guns and three names.

Listen people, you don’t need to give up your guns. It’s our right to keep and bear arms. We’ve given the Second Amendment 227 years; it’s outdated and clearly not working anymore. Keep your shotguns and revolvers but turn in these military-assault weapons and ban them once and for all. If you think you need your stockpile of weapons in case the government comes after you for some paranoid reason, then you’re going to cause the next Civil War.

So, don’t tell me the “authorities” have not yet determined a motive. The killer told you himself “life is boring” and he basically knew he could get away with it. Military style weapons have no place in this world except for in the military. Do something about it. More people have been killed at American schools this year than have been killed while deployed in the U.S. military. Shame on you.

Congress it has been a horrible week for Southern California. I went to Pepperdine and I’ve been to the Borderline Bar many times. We need your “thoughts and prayers” for the fires, but nobody wants your “thoughts and prayers” over gun violence. The NRA doesn’t send out their “thoughts and prayers” after a mass shooting, so why do members of Congress, especially when you are the only ones who can do something about it?

I’m a lover not a fighter, and when my sympathetic nervous system is activated to fight or flight, I’ll fly. Between the Parkland students, the Jewish synagogue and this former Marine, you Mr. President and every member of Congress has blood on your hands. You have to start fighting America’s crazy gun violence and pass measures to ban high-magazine capacity weapons. Meanwhile I’m on the next flight to Fiji.

- Erin Jansen, Internet Specialist, Social Psychologist, Founder of
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Big Tech has a Saudi Arabia Problem: Apple's Hypocrisy

Saying goodbye to my iPhone will be the hardest. I admire Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO for voicing strong support for a national data protection law (which I called for 2 blog posts ago in Facebook’s Gone FUD), and I’m glad someone in Big Tech finally said “our own information is being weaponized against us with military efficiency.”

Many colleagues are giving Tim Cook flack however, because it’s fairly easy for him to say this: Apple doesn’t rely on ads for its main business and it limits the data it collects on users. Still, he’s right on the money in calling out Facebook and Google for their hacking scandals, and for describing how much of the online ad industry is now, surveillance. All our personal data is only serving to enrich the companies that collect it.

When Tim took a swipe at rivals in his extraordinary speech “who claim to support rules but lobby behind closed doors to weaken any initiative” well there it was; what used to smell like lobbyists to me is now out in broad daylight. Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have all backed some version of a new privacy law so now we’ll be looking to you Congress, not the lobbyists, for clear legislation similar to Europe’s GDPR - under which Facebook currently faces a fine of as much as $1.63 BILLION.

Did you hear me Congress, Mr. President and my new friend Ivanka? The CEO of Apple agrees we need GDPR like I said two weeks ago; when you need someone other than Political Lobbyists to explain that to you, call in the Internet Specialists.

Apple advocating for privacy is definitely two steps forward, so why are they preparing to take one big step back? According to The New York Times, the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has shifted Saudi Arabia’s investment attention from Wall Street to Silicon Valley and Big Tech is jumping… high.

The “Saudi Public Investment Fund” has put $45 billion into a technology fund run by SoftBank and reportedly plans to invest $45 billion more. My colleagues are asking, why does Big Tech want to add a medieval theocracy that still beheads by sword to the criticism they are already facing? Why would Big Tech want to go along with a Saudi narrative and become a reputation-laundering machine for one of the least admirable regimes on earth?

Money. The sheer amount of it offered by Saudi Arabia is unprecedented and to some founders, irresistible. In fact, the kingdom is now the largest single funding source for U.S. start-ups. But Silicon Valley’s morals and idealism in exchange for short-term profits won’t mix well with tyranny. There’s a NetLingo word for it: wild ducks. summed it up: Doing business with tyrants is not only morally the wrong thing to do, it’s economically stupid. 

Investment in Saudi Arabia will prove controversial for Apple. With its draconian form of sharia law, Saudi Arabia’s autocratic government is consistently rated among “the worst of the worst” human rights offenders. Its gender apartheid system treats women as second-class citizens, shrouded in fabric, dependent on male chaperones, and barred from going out alone and from any form of public life. The country has notoriously strict anti-LGBT laws as opposed to Apple's pro-LGBT stances in the U.S. and elsewhere. There’s no freedom of religion. The press is censored. They're covering up the killing of one of their own nationals in their own embassy, allegedly sawing his limbs off and desolving him in acid. Brutal, public floggings and stonings are the penalty for committing adultery. Those arrested are routinely tortured to extract confessions. They've jailed the country's elite inside the Ritz Carlton, for years. Last year, Saudi Arabia put to death 146 people for crimes including murder and drug dealing; most of the executions were beheadings. Not to mention the U.S.-backed military campaign in neighboring Yemen which is killing thousands and putting millions of people at risk of starvation, including whatever else we don't know...? It's not worth it.

Tim, if you really want to throw the privacy rule book at your rivals, then begin by removing Google’s search engine as the default search on Apple devices. We know Apple collects more than $5 BILLION dollars a year in “licensing fees” from Google, so put your money where your mouth is and start there. And good luck with opening your new Apple store over there next year, but don’t let your wild ducks get tamed by Saudi money, because if you do, I’ll go back to Dell.

- Erin Jansen, Internet Specialist, Social Psychologist, Founder of
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