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
Subscribe to the NetLingo Blog via Email or RSS here
Follow @netlingo on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
Please copy and distribute! Our purpose is to educate and entertain :)