Michigan State Police notebook: Common codes kids use while texting

By By Sgt. Michael Sura, Michigan State Police
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In communication sometimes we use codes.  A short system of rules that convert information such as letters, words, sound, images, or gestures into another form or representation. 

One reason for coding is to enable communication in places where ordinary plain language, spoken or written, is difficult or impossible.  Places that may be difficult are places like sitting at the table with your family, next to your parent watching television, riding in the car and your mom asks you “What are you texting?” Why would kids need to text coded messages? 

Well obviously to keep parents in the dark about what they are talking about?  Sometimes we don’t want others to know where we have been or what we have been doing.  What’s the big deal you may ask, I don’t need to know everything?  I trust my kids; they would never do anything to make me worry. 

The big deal is someone may be talking about using drugs or alcohol without your knowledge, using codes.  Even scarier is that if you are seeing signs of drug use or think there is a possibility, it may already be too late. 

This question came in this week.  Do I have the right to look at my kid’s phone?  Do I have the right to look through my kid’s room?  The answer is “YES!!!” without a doubt.  Last I checked you’re the parent,  and unless your child bought that 400-600 dollar smart phone, pays for the plan, pays rent, cooks their own meals, buys their own groceries and supports themselves, you have every right to look at that phone.  You have every right to check their room.  There is no expectation of privacy from your mother or father.

What do I look for on the phone, I’m not sure what I’m looking at?  Here is a list of things to look for, these are some common codes used by kids to hide what they are really talking about.

@@@ or Pal = Parent alert,  9 = Parent watching,  99 = Parent stopped watching,  MA = Mom Alert,  PAW = Parents are watching,   #-) = Wiped out partied all night,  %\ =  Hangover,  :-d- =  Heavy smoker,  Hazel = Heroin, Pharming = Getting into medicine cabinets to find drugs to get high, Wings = heroin,  White lady = cocaine or heroin, CID = Acid, 420 = Marijuana,  Broken = Hungover from alcohol,  1174 = Party meeting place. 

These are just a few.  If you want further common codes, I encourage you to search on line internet acronyms and codes over the internet.

If you think your child, teenager, young adult, whatever you want to call them, may be using drugs or texting about it, start talking with them now.  It is always a good time to start that conversation.  The first step to keeping kids off drugs is to prevent them from ever starting. 

If you have any questions or comments, please email them to askatrooper12@gmail.com, or mail them to Ask a Trooper, Michigan State Police – Brighton Post, 4337 Buno Road, Brighton, MI  48116.

 

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