Lost in lingo: Translating tech talk for parents

Remember when you were a child, trying to fill in your parent about the latest trends of the day.

First came the pleading: “It’s called a Nintendo, Mum. And EVERYONE has one!” And then, after being met with a blank stare, you would roll your eyes and storm off.

There are some things that just don’t change from generation to generation, and this is one of them. Trends change, technology advances, and some of us poor old parents are left eating dust.

Fear not, old fogies: we’ve got your back! Here are our top 19 tech terms translated so you can prove to the kids who's boss.

Social media
Online socialising sites where people connect, share pictures, and interact via chat. Facebook*, Instagram*, Snapchat* and YouTube* are the most popular.

Within social media sites, you also have the ability to follow other people you might not know, such as celebrities. People who have found fame through social media alone are called ‘influencers’, and can often have followers upwards of 100,000 people.

When searching for things online in Google* or other search sites, you need to enter in a word or phrase. These are called ‘keywords’, and are super important to get right in order to turn up the right results.

These search ‘engines’ such as Google have become a highly sophisticated system that can detect your location, your search trends, and even your demographic in order to turn up the most appropriate results. When companies create content designed to pitch themselves at the top of your list, this is called ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, or SEO.

This describes the resolution of a photograph or picture on the computer. High-resolution shots can be cropped or blown up without turning grainy. Low-resolution shots are either really small, or really bad quality, and can’t be used on websites or anywhere it needs to be enlarged.

To be mentioned on a social media post, or captured in a picture loaded by another person. Everyone on your feed and theirs will be able to see the tag and the tagged post/image - not always a good thing!

Front end/back end
When it comes to a website, there’s the front facing side (that customers see) and the back end (that the creators see). If someone is searching for a mistake, they will need to spot it in the front end, and fix it in the back end.

Everything you see online is the result of a long stream of code written into the back end. Most kids are being taught coding at school these days.

The Cloud
An invisible storage system to back up your information to, that doesn’t depend on the physical technology. In the past, you would save to a hard drive or memory card, which - if broken - would lose all your information.

A security block online to prevent you from viewing a certain page. These are employed by most schools to prevent kids from stumbling upon anything inappropriate or dangerous.

An ‘application’ or program that’s used on a tablet or smart phone device.

To remove a ‘friend’ or connection off a social media platform, so they can’t contact or interact with you anymore. For kids, this is like an act of war - the new method of schoolyard bullying. Blocking can also be used to prevent unwanted contact from online trolls, or people you don’t know.

Someone who uses repeated online ‘attacks,’ aimed at certain individuals or groups, which can take the form of annoying messages or hurtful comments. An online troll intends to aggravate their targets to provoke a reaction.

The operating system or tech update from Apple*. New versions of iOS will bring new capabilities to the user.

The mobile application operating system that most non-Apple devices use.

The operating system that Microsoft* computers use.

The internet browser created by Google.

Breaking into another person’s information on their computer or online platforms to illegally take their information.

A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)
The new frontier of technology, where machines will be able to make a decision or thought process autonomously from human control.

Knowledge is power, mums and dads! Don’t be scared of the world of modern technology - with practice you too can master the world online!

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Learn the secret language of tech as we move into the digital future.