The internet has completely changed our lives. Many of us, myself included (me, as well), have grown up with the internet, and have never known a time when it wasn’t around. However, the internet and the way people use it is changing every day. That means that there’s always new internet vocabulary to learn! Think about it…if someone came up to you 25 years ago and asked you to “google” something for them, would you have known what they meant?

Because the internet is so prevalent (common) in our lives, it’s important to stay on top of (know about, stay up-to-date on) different internet vocabulary. With this in mind, we’ve compiled (put together) some common internet vocabulary for you. These aren’t words like google (to search for), browse (look around), or download, but they’re words you may have heard before and thought, “I don’t know what that is, but I’m too afraid to ask.” So here is some common internet vocabulary to brush up on!


I have whole (complete) friendships based on memes (pronounced like meem). I love a good meme. A meme is usually a picture with some text on it that is funny or relatable (something familiar to many people). Memes are easy to send to different people, and typically have some kind of joke that many people will find funny. They’re one of my favorite parts of the internet, as they’re a quick, easy way for me to connect with friends.

For example:

  • Did you see the meme I sent you yesterday? I thought you would find it funny!
  • My boyfriend and I send a lot of memes back and forth (to each other). It’s our way of letting each other know we’re thinking of the other.


Do you have an Instagram or Twitter (account)? How many followers do you have? A follower is someone who subscribes to your account so they can see what you post. Your followers may be friends or relatives, or maybe someone you’ve never met before! Famous people tend to (usually) have a lot of followers because people like to see what they’re up to (are doing). Following someone on social media is a good way to see what they’re doing, what they’re interested in, or how they like to spend their time.

For example:

  • After she posted something she really believed in, but many people didn’t agree with, she lost a lot of followers. However, she thought sharing her true thoughts was more important than the number of followers she had.
  • I don’t have many followers on Instagram, but that’s ok. I like it, anyway. It’s a nice place to share photos.


Influencers became a topic of conversation a few years ago, and since then, they seem to be everywhere online. An influencer is someone who is paid by a company to produce (make) ads for the company on their personal social media accounts. They’re supposed to convince their followers to buy the company’s product — or influence their shopping decisions. Influencers can create ads for anything, so it’s important to figure out (find out, see) if you’re being advertised to.

For example:

  • Remember that festival where they got influencers to advertise for it, but then it never happened? I watched a really good documentary about it the other day.
  • I used to really like following her, but she kept advertising all these products. Then I found out she was an influencer, and I stopped following her.


Sometimes we don’t always like the way we look in pictures. So it’s nice that social media has given us a way to adjust (change) our photos easily. That’s where filters come in. Filters are photo settings that can change the color scheme (set up), add imagery in to a photo, or touch up (fix small imperfections) your photos. Filters can be great sometimes, and they can be a nice way to make your photos fun or look a little more professional. Just know that some people use filters on their photos all the time, and so they may not look that way in real life. Some things online are not as they appear (look)!

For example:

  • When she was a teenager she used filters all the time because she didn’t like the way she looked. But when she got older, she realized that she didn’t need all those filters and stopped using them completely.
  • Sometimes when I’m bored I just scroll through new filters and try them out on my pictures. I’ve found some pretty good ones!

Direct message

How do you send someone a message online without commenting publicly on their page or post? You don’t always want everyone to see what you want to write. In this case, you can send someone a direct message, or DM for short. A direct message is a private message that you can send someone so that only they can see it. DMs are nice when you don’t want all of their followers to see what you have to say, or if you want to talk to someone privately.

For example:

  • I tried emailing the store about my order, but they haven’t gotten back to me yet. Maybe I should send them a direct message.
  • She doesn’t check her DMs often, which is how she missed my message about going to the movies last Friday. But we’ve got it all worked out now, and we’re going tomorrow!

Have you used any of this internet vocabulary before? Are there any more internet terms you want to know? Share with us in the comments below!

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Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and knows that there’s always new internet vocabulary to learn!

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