If IM, Skype, and text are verbs in your vocabulary, you won't need this information. However, if teenagers and techies seem to be speaking a language you don't understand, here's a communications tutorial from the New York Times that will help. Written from the point of view of a college student explaining it all to his parents, the article makes text messaging, instant messaging, video chatting, and internet phone calls easy to understand. (It even addresses Mac/PC compatibilities.) When you're ready to try it, here's another site with about 250 text messaging abbreviations that will come in handy.
Even if you decide to stick with "old-fashioned" cell phones and email, at least you'll know what your kids are talking about. IYKWIM.
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
What we're talking about
on the front page.