Words that enter our everyday lexicon fascinate me. Over the years, our use of technology and social media has forced us to develop new words to describe our experiences and expand or redefine existing terms (e.g., “friending” on Facebook).
In the spirit of those who actively develop and promote these new words, I’m happy to introduce a few terms that you may not have heard, but that could be useful for explaining something you’re experiencing online.
I can’t take credit for all of these terms. Some have appeared on Twitter, and some are newly defined for this column. But they’re kind of clever and appropriate.
New wearable technology can measure the number of steps you walk or run each day, your heart rate and blood pressure, and other important health-related information. Fitbit, one of the more popular wearable fitness products, also helps you track sleep, weight and calories.
Although I don’t use the wristband technology, I do use the fitness apps, such as FitnessPal, that help me track some of the same information.
For me, being fitbitter is the feeling associated with entering my calorie intake into a fitness app after I’ve had a gigantic piece of cheesecake, or on a day I didn’t work out.
Used in a sentence: “I’m fitbitter because I had seconds of mom’s lasagna.”
(Note: The term fitbitter also has been used to describe a person who uses the Fitbit technology).
LinkedIn is the social networking site developed for job seekers and the business community. However, being “linkedinsecure” is the feeling that you don’t have enough links, recommendations or accomplishments, and that you’re not really active enough on LinkedIn to survive the scrutiny of someone who may be considering you for a job.
Someone once tweeted, “It makes me all linkedInsecure, as I haven’t updated my profile in ages and somehow feel inadequate.”
Emoji is the Japanese term that uses e for “picture” and moji for “letter, character.” We use emojis to serve as the nonverbal gestures we would use if we were communicating face-to-face.
Emojis also come in handy when we don’t know how to politely end online conversations. In these cases, we “emojiout” (pronounced e-MO-je-out), using an emoji or sometimes several emojis to end a seemingly infinite back-and-forth texting session.
It’s the equivalent of finding a polite way to end an endless phone conversation without simply pressing the red “hang up” icon on your phone.
Used in a sentence: “I was Facebooking with an old high school friend, and after a while I just had to emojiout of the conversation.”
This term has been around for several years, and it was used in the early days of Twitter to refer to celebrity impersonators. This led to verified accounts (i.e., small white checkmark set in a blue circle on your Twitter profile image), and several celebrities claiming to be “the real” (insert celebrity name).
Today, if you’re twitterjacked, it simply means someone has hacked your account to post inappropriate or misleading information.
Used in a sentence: “My ex-girlfriend twitterjacked my account and tweeted that I was a Cleveland Browns fan” (which, of course, could be really bad if you’re actually a Pittsburgh Steelers fan).
Dr. Adam Earnheardt is chairman of the department of communication at Youngstown State University. Follow him on Twitter at @adamearn.
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is professor and chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA. He researches and writes about communication and relationships, parenting and sports. He writes a weekly column for The Vindicator newspaper on social media and society.