You might think of idioms as classic sayings that everyone knows — raining cats and dogs, kicking the bucket, getting cold feet. But idioms aren’t exclusively created by generations past. In the age of the internet, new idioms spring up all the time, and you might be surprised at how many you know (even if you wish you didn’t).
No, it doesn’t mean actual tea. This phrase originated in drag culture, and “tea” or “T” refers to the truth. The phrase has grown to refer to the intense gossip and drama that plagues the internet. If someone says, “That’s the tea,” it usually means that they’ve just posted a juicy piece of gossip that people will discuss longer than necessary.
You might see plenty flexing their muscles and posting their workout progress in Instagram photos, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. If you’re flexing on Insta — or anywhere else online — you’re showing off, and you’re not being graceful about it. You make sure everyone thinks you’re living the high life, even if it's not really the T. Sorry, not sorry.
Keeping receipts is kind of like “pics or it didn’t happen.” If you ask someone for their receipts, you’re saying that if they don’t have proof, they might as well be lying. Collecting receipts is how you cover yourself online and dispel any doubt against you. It’s like a courtroom, but exclusively on social media.
If you’re sliding into someone’s DMs, you probably haven’t talked to them before. More often than not, this phrase is used when someone’s asking if they can talk to you privately, or when that person invites you to talk to them in DMs. You usually hear it on Twitter or Instagram, but it’s not uncommon on Facebook either. That slide into DMs is usually accompanied by some sort of come on, so be wary when that notification pops up.
Fake news has become a popular phrase in our current political climate, but we already had a word for it — propaganda. Fake news is a snarkier way to say that someone is spreading misinformation and trying to pass it off as the truth. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Admit it. You’ve done this. You see someone’s text, but you don’t reply to it. Maybe you forgot, but more likely, you saw the message and didn’t feel like answering. It could be that guy you went on a date with and never want to see again, your mom asking you to come over, or your boss asking you to work on your day off. Avoid this shame altogether and turn off your read receipts.