I’ve never been one to give much thought to the significance of knowing internet lingo. To me, it’s second nature. I just know what T1, DHCP, TCP/IP and Domain name are. I very quickly picked up on the meaning of other terms like “retweet,” “pinged” and “facebooked” among others. I know these terms because I am a part of the internet social media tribe. As a member I know the lingo.
Since I know the lingo, other members of the tribe recognize me as a member.
Simply put, knowing the lingo means that you’re one of the “in the know” people. IF you don’t know the internet lingo, you’re easily marked as an outsider, someone that doesn’t quite belong. Not that it’s a bad thing, you’ll just need to pick up on the meaning of things if you want to be accepted by the tribe and/or have meaningful interactions with it.
I’m always reminded of the importance of knowing the lingo when I take my car in for a repair, or when I need to buy something for my car. I know next to nothing about cars. I know that cars need maintenance, gas, oil, etc. to function, but beyond that I’m at a loss.
My “outsider” status was highlighted to me on a recent trip to the auto parts store.
Here’s the situation: The belt in my car was squealing and a neighbor suggested I get “belt conditioner” to stop the squealing. I went to the auto parts store only to be told that there was no such thing as “belt conditioner” but they did have something called “belt dressing” that I could use to stop the squealing.
The person behind the counter gave me a look that I’m sure I’ve given people when they talk about memory when they reference their computer’s hard drive. That’s about when it hit me.
I’m not a member of their tribe, had I been a member, I wouldn’t have had a squealing belt for 4 months and I would’ve have known what to call the item that I needed. Even though my interaction was successful in the sense that I was able to get what I needed, had I known the lingo in advance I would’ve had a more successful interaction.
This correlates to how a newbie needs to learn the terms of whatever social media platform they want to use.