Monday, August 11, 2014

What is #ratchet?? Don't go cray cray! Read this to help you understand...


Every year,  we have the privilege of hosting our now 15 year old niece here in New York.  She travels from Illinois, spends a few days soaking up Manhattan (this year we took a tour of the Gossip Girl locations) and then we all travel out to the eastern Long Island seacoast to enjoy the incredible waves, shopping and an occasional celebrity sighting (it was Chris Martin from Coldplay today).

This visit is a treat for our daughter, and an education for us parents -- we get a glimpse of what's to come when we spend time with our older niece. Here are some of the enjoyable topics we covered with our niece, notice they all involve the electronic universe (and most needed a bit more research):

1. Instagram -
Teens and tweens no longer just take pictures, they now have to help organize them in cyberspace by breaking them down into categories. Thus the  hashtag (#)! By the way,  Instagram is big business, it was bought by Facebook for $1 billion!

This process of photo sharing is actually old news, Facebook has offered $3 Billion (which was declined) to buy this:

2. Snapchat -- (the new Instagram) Perhaps not really intended for anyone college age or younger, this is a photo sharing app with more features than Instagram (eg. you can add a mustache to someone's picture, if desired).  Apparently pictures only need to be viewed for 10 seconds (or less, if selected)!  When discussing this APP, we, of course, presented a vacant look of naivatee...

3. Twitter -- talk about short attention spans -- Twitter allows the shortest sound bite comment imaginable (150 characters or less!).  But it seems everyone is in on it --we can even get twitter feeds from nationally recognized newscasters.

4. Vine -- This appears to be the next big thing -- it is ostensibly the same as Instagram but with videos.

5. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.

There is so much to be said about this that I published a separate post last week.

6. Sound Cloud -- Used for music, this is another version of UTube, but the music options are less mainstream.

7. Words --

Person1: Yo, u finna go to Brandon's free tonight?  I hear its gonna to be lit!
Person2: Yeah, I'm tryna get turnt (or, I'm trying to turnup)
Person1: Yaaaaasssss, come thruuu boyy. It's going to be wavy!! I hear ur bae Mariah might be there to...

Huh?  Having a hard time understanding?  Most of the new slang words heard by young people are used in texts/school hallways and are inspired by rap/hip hop lyrics. And many of the definitions of these words are loose and can vary depending on context and feel of the conversation. And when trying to read, throw grammar and punctuation out the window...

Ratchet Was a synonym for low class and now its meaning is getting a makeover thanks to Beyonce and Lady Gaga (SEE links below)

Turn Up Means let's get this party started (i.e. some bottles are going to be turned upside down).

Grind  Doing something difficult.

Bad Usually a reference to woman, meaning she is "good."

Cake  Glutes.

SMH Shaking my head, or --  Oh no you didn't!

Dip Leaving someplace.

Feeling Ways A little upset, range of emotions. "Boyyy, this essay we just got back, its got me feeling ways right now!"

Bae or Boo Cute, hot person that someone finds attractive, or can be a close friend.

Tight Angry -- "got me tight."

GMT Used in texts --Got me tight.

...or Nahh or not.

Finna Can be used both negatively and positively for "trying to."

Wavey Cool.

Cuffed Dating.

Weak Fun/funny. This movie has me weak.

Litt Chill, cool - Boy that party was Litt.

Doe  Is used instead of though.

Dat  Same as that.

Rager  Party.

Cray or Cray Cray - Crazy,  as in... why you acting so cray? She cray cray!

Digits Phone number.

Yute Youth.

Work Doing something to get noticed.

Flex Showing off.

For more word descriptions see:


Always instill a sense that, even a 10 second, here-now, gone-later format can be permanent when published online, and can have long term consequences.

There is no tone in typed communication and perhaps, not in photos either.  Therefore, perception is not always clear to the receiver.  A friend recently put a quote on Facebook that should be considered:

Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.

Watch everything!  Keep up with everything. If your kids are on Facebook, you should be on Facebook.

Turn off the electronics, get out and socialize:

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