MOOS, POS and other teen internet slang every parent urgently needs to know – The Guardian

Name: MOOS.

Age: Don’t think about it. You’ll just feel old.

Appearance: The entire idea of doomed youth, summed up in a single acronym.

This sounds like something I should know about. You may be right. The Department for Education certainly thinks so, which is why it’s just collated a whole swathe of teen internet slang on Parent Info, a new website for concerned parents.

Thank God. I do worry about what my kids get up to online. So you should. The site also contains advice to help you talk to your kids about body confidence, cyberbullying and digital literacy, which is useful.

So, quickly, tell me what MOOS stands for. OK, brace yourself. It stands for Members of the Opposite Sex.

Eh? I know, terrible isn’t it? All these teens on their Snapchats, Member of the Opposite Sexing this and Member of the Opposite Sexing that. It’s enough to make you sick.

Why is that dangerous? It just means “boy” or “girl”. It means they’ve got something to hide. It means they don’t want you seeing that they’re trying to hook up with a boy or girl.

They’d rather I thought they were trying to hook up with cows instead? Possibly. Look, I’m not a teenager. I don’t know.

Is this new, though? Surely all teenagers since the dawn of time have been obsessed with sex. Well, yes. But, still, forewarned is forearmed.

Go on then, give me another example. Have you ever seen your kid write “POS” on their WhatsApp?

No, because I think my child is more likely to appropriately self-police if I’m not constantly snooping on them. Parent Over Shoulder, that’s what it means. It means they can’t talk about sex and drugs because you’re around. What about IWSN?

Fine, whatever, tell me. I Want Sex Now. That’s what it means.

Of course they want sex now. They’re teenagers. I wanted sex now when I was a teenager but it didn’t mean I ever got it. Yuck, TMI.

Do say: “KIAPBWATS – Knowledge is a parent’s best weapon against teenage sex.”

Don’t say: “TIAPNA – This is all probably nonsense actually.”


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