What Does NSFW Mean?

‘NSFW’ stands for ‘not safe for work’. It is mostly used on social media forums or when sending emails to inform the recipient beforehand that the content of the picture that is being emailed to them is not appropriate for an office environment. The abbreviation ‘NSFW’ is written in the subject space provided in emails.

How to Use ‘NSFW’?

For social media, you can simply send ‘NSFW’ as a message before sending them the file with inappropriate content for a public place like office.

Even when you know someone would be home and if they have kids, you can warn them by writing ‘NSFW’ before sending the image or video through the social media forums or write it down in the subject to inform them that what they are going to open is not for children.

The content that requires ‘NSFW’ as a warning are mostly A rated jokes, or comprises of objectionable contents which should not be seen around children, or when in office.

When Should You Use Texting Jargons?

Texting jargons are these slang abbreviations that are used on the networking forums through internet. You can use them while messaging, emails and social networking forums.

Because these jargons are different in nature, which means, some can be witty, where are others are simply texting shorthand, you need to be very careful about which jargon should be used where.

See the difference between the people you are formal with and informal with. Simultaneously, categorize the internet slangs which you can use formally or informally.

For instance, you cannot use the jargo ‘FYI’, that means ‘For Your Information’, when talking to your boss. It is impolite and very informal for an office conversation.

However, the same jargon can be used on social media forums like Facebook comments and status’ where you can write ‘FYI’ to anyone and everyone.

It is all up to you and the kind of audience you are catering to. Another example for this would be that you would use a much more decent language in front of your family or relative in comparison to your friends.  The same kind of categorization should be taken care of when using such internet shorthand.

For informal  relations, it is highly suggested that you do not use these jargons at all. To appear more professional in nature, you must, and you should use full forms of words like Thank You and not use ‘TY’. Messaging a client or your boss a ‘TY’ would give a very bad impression.

Let’s look at a few examples of how you can use ‘NSFW’ in your conversations.

Examples for ‘NSFW’

Example 1:

Friend 1: I found this super hilarious joke on the internet.

Friend 2: Send it then.

Friend 1: Okay, but NSFW! So watch it when alone.

Friend 2: Thanks for the head up bro!

Here, the first friend sent the ‘NSFW’ warning before asking where the other friend was. And that is exactly the purpose of ‘NSFW’. To inform the recipient of the content to be creful when watching such content.

Example 2:

Jen: I am super bored!

Hellen: where are you?

Jen: work.

Hellen: sending you something on your email. ‘NSFW’ though.

Jen: Send anyway, I have my lunch break in 10.

Hellen: great.

You can send such messages and be sure that the person gets the ‘NSFW’ signal before viewing that video or image. This will save them the embarrassment.

Example 3:

Jay: Have you watched EJ’s show for last night?

Flyn: No I haven’t. What about it?

Jay: Dude it was so funny. The jokes are totally your type.

Flyn: My type? What does that mean?

Jay: Sending you the link to it. ‘NSFW’! do not watch it in office or in front of your kids.I repeat. DO NOT.

Flyn: ‘NSFW’ in capital was enough for the warning.

Jay: LOL.

In this example, you can visually feel the impact of ‘NSFW’ in the conversation. Sometimes when you say ‘NSFW’, you don’t really have to put more emphasis on it, which Jay, in this conversation did. Even if she did not repeat the ‘do not watch it in office or in front of your kids’, Flyn would still understand that it has some inappropriate content which cannot be watched with public around or when with kids.

Example 4:

Taylor: Do you know what happened yesterday?

Kyle: No, tell me!

Taylor: Arron sent me a link to this video yesterday. I was in my office. And she forgot to write ‘NSFW’ in the subject.

Kyle: Uh oh, that sounds bad.

Taylor: It didn’t just sound bad, it felt bad too.

Kyle: Why? What was in the video?

Taylor: A rated joke memes!

Now, if someone forgets to write ‘NSFW’ in the email for such content, this is exactly how one would feel. So to save people from such sort of embarrassment, use ‘NSFW’ when sharing such messages and videos.


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Habiba Rehman


Major love for reading, but writing is what keeps me going. Dream to publish my own novels someday.
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