Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

“Like My Status” Was Facebook’s Breakout Meme in 2011

Facebook has a nice tradition of telling us about emerging acronyms found in its users’ status messages each year. It’s just the kind of thing to make a young person like me feel like an old fogey for not using the hip new slang yet.

Last year’s winner was “HMU,” for “hit me up”; in 2009, it was “FML” for “(eff) my life.” (And to be fair, I’ve definitely seen those posted by my own friends since — I guess we’re late adopters.)

So here are this year’s dual winners for acronyms in the Facebook status messages of U.S. users: “LMS” for “like my status,” and “TBH” for “to be honest.”

LMS was the “fastest-growing meme of 2011,” by Facebook’s count; in fact, it often went hand in hand with “TBH.”

So if a Facebook user posted “LMS for a TBH,” she would then hand out individualized honest feedback for any friend who pressed the “Like” button next to her status, as in the image at left. It’s kind of wackily complicated, but at the same time a nice gesture.

Facebook released a dizzying list of other year-end trends, as well, through a “Memology” app on the official Facebook page. The biggest global peaks of the year were when Osama bin Laden was killed and when the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl.

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik