digital life

Our relationship with all things digital is a multi-faceted one. People either embrace technology and their digital lives with feverish intensity (see “Techie babies”); they’ve grown weary of said technology and want a break (see “Digital diet”). And some are even using vigilante tactics in the digital space to avenge wrongdoings (see “Digilante”).

Wherever you may fall on the spectrum, one thing for certain is that digital is no longer a foreign language to anyone, even Baby Boomers and Matures. It’s ubiquitous in our lives and in almost everything we do, from paying bills to publishing our own art. And while we are adopting technology at a rate that is so fast and unfamiliar to most of us, we’re also looking to older cues from the past to make sense of our futuristic presence (see “iArt” and “Pin it”).


Baby mugging (n.)

Holding a coffee mug between a camera lens and an infant in order to simulate the appearance of a baby in a mug with the intent of posting on social media.

For more information on baby mugging, check out this article in The Huffington Post.


Bashtag (n.)

Using a company’s hashtag on Twitter as a form of criticism or parody.

Examples: McDonald’s #MCDStories, Chik-Fil-A’s #CowAppreciationDay

Catfish (n.)

A person who pretends to be someone they are not by creating a fake profile online with someone else’s pictures and information.

Examples: Manti Te’o’s girlfriend, MTV’s “Catfish” TV show, “Catfish” documentary

Creeping my book (n.)

The act of lurking on someone’s Facebook page and thus knowing everything going on in their life, then bringing up details of items posted to Facebook in real life.

Cyberbully (v.)

To send threatening or intimidating messages via the Internet or mobile phone as a way to tease and bully someone.

The National Crime Prevention Council reported in 2011 that cyber-bullying is a problem that affects almost half of all American teens.

Cybrarian (n.)

A librarian who specializes in finding and organizing information on the Internet.


Death of cursive (n.)

Phenomenon where cursive handwriting is no longer relevant or actively taught in schools thanks to computer keyboards, printing and smartphones.

For more information on the death of cursive, check out this article in The New York Times and this one in The Atlantic Wire.

Digilante (n.)

A person or group who uses digital tools and techniques for vigilante justice using methods such as spamming or hacking.

Examples: Anonymous, Christopher Chaney hacking celebrity cell phones


Digital diet (n.)

The reduction and/or elimination of social media and technology reliance in one’s life.

Facebook sabbatical (n.)

The act of suspending or deleting one’s Facebook account to free up time and/or connect with the physical world.

Fat-finger texting (n.)

The unintentional entry of nearby, but incorrect, alphanumeric characters while using a mobile device that, in some cases, may lead to dire consequences.

Examples: accidentally clicked ads, the American Idol copycat fraud

For more information on fat-finger texting, check out this story from NBC Chicago.

Filter bubble (n.)

Search results or online data filtered to match your interests, thus preventing the discovery of outside data.

Factalnoia (n.)

Reading about current ideas or events online through endlessly connected sources (linked articles, tweets, etc.) without the benefit of time to shape the overarching through line or add meaning.

Freudenstalk (v.)

To take pleasure in the negative findings of others online via social media.

Frevenue (n.)

Using your friends, especially your social network, to make money through the sale of items.

Examples: Stella, Kelly’s Kids, Etsy

iArt (n.)

Art that can be created thanks to the pervasiveness of digital tools and mediums, but that harkens to an older time.

Examples: Instagram, 8mm video app

Inspiration aggregators (n.)

Websites that allow users to aggregate and curate inspirational content to share with others.

Examples: Pinterest, Polyvore, Wanelo, Fancy, interactive mood boards, Shopstyle

Juvenoia (n.)

Fear that the Internet and social networks will have a negative effect on your kids.

Klout score (n.)

The measure of a user’s influence and interactions among their social network connections.

Some brands use high Klout scores to give customers perks. Examples: Palms Casino, Salesforce


Likeonomics (n.)

The use of social media to encourage people to share their preference for your brand.

My site, your site (n.)

The controversy surrounding who actually owns your content and personal information on social websites.

Examples: Facebook voting, new Instagram policies


Pin it (v.)

To post images, videos and objects on the content-sharing service Pinterest.

Pinterest stress (n.)

The increased feeling among U.S. moms that their home lives don’t stack up in comparison to pins on the creative content-sharing site Pinterest.

For more information, check out this article on TODAY from NBC News.

Selfie (n.)

A picture taken of oneself to post on a social media site, such as Facebook or Twitter.

For more information on selfies, check out this post on The Stir.

SoLoMo (n.)

Acronym for “social, local and mobile” applications, grouped together for more targeted search engine results.


Techie babies (n.)

Those who have been introduced to and are comfortable with technology and devices at a young age.

The tech influence will shape the way they live and interact with the world when they grow up. Example: iPad apps for kids

Troll (n.)

Someone who intentionally annoys others in online chats, comments or posts.

Twimmolation (n.)

The demise of a person or company’s reputation due to damaging Twitter posts.