Social Media Terminology – New Terms You Need to Know


Terminology can be something of a barrier in social media. You track your tweets through Hootsuite and analyse your profiles with Followerwonk. You share GIFs and Vines and post updates with emojis. In 2013, ‘selfie’ was the Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year after seeing a 17,000% increase in use from 2012. Everyone now knows what a selfie is, it’s a commonplace term, a word that’s transcended its social media origins and become more than a slang term uttered (or, typed) amongst tech-savvy kids. So what word’s gonna’ be next? What common social media terms and labels should you be aware of to ensure you understand what’s what in the digital realm? Here are a couple of social media references to get acquainted with as we move further into the connected age.

Facesook – You know when people complain and you’re like ‘alright, it’s not that bad, some people have real problems’? A Facesook is exactly that, but via Facebook post. You get all kinds of these random whinges – and of course, that’s fine, Facebook is a huge part of how people connect and interact, and having a whinge is, and always has been, part of regular discourse. The term is not to criticise, but merely to identify – such practice is called a Facesook.

Lurkognise – When you recognise a stranger in real life and you realise that the only reason you know him/her is because you’ve checked out their profile/s on social media. Again, not to criticise, sometimes you come across a random person when you’re tumbling down the social rabbithole and they stand out and fascinate you for some reason. It could be seen as something of a compliment – though I’d suggest you don’t mention that you’ve stalked them online when you first meet, it can create a level of awkwardness.

Tinderella – An attractive prospective partner located via Tinder – as in ‘I saw this absolute Tinderella the other day’. Admittedly, I’ve never used Tinder, but I’m told that finding your perfect match can be as challenging as locating someone who fits a random glass slipper.

Gloaties – When people post picture updates from their ‘excellent’ holidays just that little bit too frequently. The common person’s response sequence goes something like this:

Day 1, Update 1: ‘Oh, hey, that’s so cool, I’ve always wanted to go there’

Day 1, Update 2: ‘Really cool, looks like you’re having an awesome time’

Day 1, Update 3: ‘That’s’

Day 1, Update 4: ‘Really’

Day 1, Update 5: ‘Okay’

Day 1, Update 6: ‘I hate you so much’

The average human gloatie response is shown in this chart:

We all want our friends to be happy and have a good time, no doubt they deserve it. But some just overdo it that little bit, don’t they? (Note: Not a real chart)

Fappening – Just don’t. Don’t look it up, don’t investigate it, don’t…

Lifecasting – Around-the-clock broadcasting of a person’s life via digital media. With the expanding development of wearables, this could become a big one in future. For real.

Twitface – The practise of linking your Twitter and Facebook accounts so everything you post on one appears on both – great, huh? Not so much. Used in a sentence: ‘Ah, she’s done the ol’ twitface’.

These are just a few of the many terms to be aware of in the social media sphere, any one of which could end up being a future Oxford Word of the Year*. It’s worth getting yourself up to speed on the latest, making sure you know what’s what in social lingo. The last thing you’d want is to be at a cool bar trying to make conversation when suddenly you’re hit with some barrage of new language that you have no idea how to respond to.

Have I missed any? Do you have any other social-originated terms that stand out?

*None of these have any chance of being a future Word of the Year

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