What Does "KMS" Mean on Snapchat? A Guide for Concerned Parents and Small Business Owners

As an entrepreneurship consultant, I often advise small business owners on social media strategy. Increasingly, I have been asked by clients to decipher confusing slang terms used internally among Gen Z employees on apps like Snapchat. One acronym that frequently raises eyebrows is "KMS." Parents are also puzzled when they see this pop up on their teen‘s phone screen.

This guide breaks down the meaning behind KMS on Snapchat to empower readers – whether concerned parents or small business owners – to have constructive conversations with their kids or employees. My perspective comes from over a decade of assisting startups in developing a respectful, responsible social media presence.

The Shifting Definitions of KMS

On Snapchat and other platforms popular among teens like Instagram and TikTok, KMS is something of a chameleon acronym that adapts based on context. Some of its most common meanings are:

  • Kilometers – To indicate a distance. "My friend‘s house is 5 KMS away."
  • Kill Myself – To express frustration. Often used sarcastically rather than literally.
  • Keep My Secret – To ask someone not to divulge sensitive information.
  • Kiss Me Slowly – Flirtatious message asking for a kiss.
  • Kicks/Views – The number of views received on Snapchat content.

Unlike generations before them, Gen Z relies heavily on abbreviated communication. But while their parents may feel confused by unfamiliar terms like KMS, these acronyms allow young people to feel connected within their peer groups by speaking the same language.

As an entrepreneurship consultant, I advise small business clients against banning internal social media use outright. Instead, constructive dialogue around appropriate usage focusing on community, safety and workplace values is recommended.

Evaluating Context Clues with Compassionate Curiosity

When evaluating ambiguous shorthand like KMS, context provides crucial clues. Who is the teen interacting with? What prompted the message? Taking an open, compassionate approach is key rather than reacting with shock or anger.

That said, the use of "Kill Myself" in any context warrants attention, especially given rising youth mental health issues. According to a 2019 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, suicide rates among those aged 10-24 surged nearly 60% from 2007 to 2018.

Rates of Suicide Among Youth (10-24 Years Old) from 2007-2018

Year Number of Deaths
2007 1,963
2018 3,179

With these statistics in mind, it is essential that parents have constructive conversations about mental health with teens who use KMS frequently on social media. Gentle questions could provide insight, such as:

  • Can you help me understand what you mean when you say KMS?
  • How are you feeling when you send messages like that?
  • What do you usually need in those moments?

Seeking professional counseling would also be wise if depression or self-harm is suspected.

Tips for Monitoring KMS and Other Slang Terms

While learning teen slang can help decoding confusing acronyms, most parents also utilize parental controls across social media, texting and browsing tools.

Comparison of Leading Parental Control Apps

App Platforms Covered Key Features Price
Bark Social media, texts, emails, YouTube Alerts for concerning content; tracks schoolwork $9/month
Boomerang Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Chrome Screens time limits; tracks mood changes $4.99/month
MMGuardian Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp Keyword alerts; tracks location $7.99/month

I generally recommend finding a balance between monitoring technology and frequent in-person chats. Opening clear communication channels helps teens feel the home is a judgement-free place to work through issues.

As both an entrepreneurship expert and involved parent myself, I know how challenging decrypting Gen Z slang can feel at times for parents and small business owners alike! My advice is to approach these linguistic gray areas with patience, compassionate curiosity and an openness to understanding why terms like KMS resonate. Building trust is essential so teens come to you for support rather than hide their feelings behind confusing acronyms.