Smartphones have revolutionized not only how we communicate, but the entirety of our daily lives. All our questions are answered through web searches, our memories are captured through digital camera lenses, and our hopes and dreams are saved in our notes apps.

With developments in technology changing every facet of our lives, language has to develop at a similar rate so we can communicate in this new world. These seven words were invented to accommodate innovations that didn’t exist before the age of smartphones.


Social media platforms tend to be focused on creating a public persona, where people interact with each other in a space that everyone can see. The other side of social media is the private space — known as direct messaging, or DM. These interactions are only between the sender and the receiver. Because of this, things are said to “go down in the DM.” This is a popular way for people to flirt with each other in private (just be careful of the screenshot).

Swipe left/right

Dating apps have made it possible for people to try to meet new love while staying at home. The apps can be incredibly superficial, reducing users down to a handful of images that are presented almost as playing cards.

Interest is indicated by swiping across said cards. Right = yes and left = no. Swipe left is another way of saying you’ve been rejected while swipe right means you've made the cut.


Almost everybody in 2019 is a photographer. Sights, moments, and events are now continuously captured and saved as digital media on phones. What is the one thing that people enjoy taking photos of most of all? Themselves, of course.

As soon as this was realized, cameras were added to the front of phones. These self portraits were all too perfect for social media and received the cute moniker of selfies.


A clever combination of the words sex and text brought us this term. Sexting is any sexually explicit messaging, across any digital platform. Sexting can be anything from flirtatious and often oblique emoji-filled messages all the way up to X-rated selfies.


The original and simplest social media interaction is a like. See a post or picture you like? Click the little heart next to it to show your appreciation. But what if something has changed? An erroneous or premature like is one of the biggest online faux pas (and unliking the post might be too little, too late). However, an argument or falling out can leave one in a similarly awkward situation.

What’s a subtle but cutting way to show you’re not happy? Click that heart again and unlike.


Unfriending is the next level of unliking. Not only have you decided that you no longer want to show your support for that post, but you want to cut all ties with the person in question. Sometimes the reason for unfriending is less sinister — you may have drifted apart or just want to clear out the random friends from high school that you didn’t even know back in high school.

Whatever the context, removing that connection is known as unfriending.


GIF is an acronym that stands for graphics interchange format. It is a special type of image that most often shows some brief movement.

These moving images open up a whole world of comedic potential, thus they have become very popular ways to add color to your online commentary. GIFs can now be inserted into conversations as easily as any other message. It's also opened up the worldwide debate over whether the word is pronounced with a hard g, as in "gift" or a j sound, like "jiff".