Last Updated on November 17, 2021
Are a regular social media user? Or maybe you like to stay updated on social trends and pop culture? Then you most probably have come across the term ‘smh’.
Social media has become a common part of our lives today, that some of the terms we use on these platforms have found their way into our everyday conversations. Several of these terms include: sorry late reply (slr), laughing my ass out (lmao), in case you missed it (icymi), laugh out loud (lol), etc.
It’s no wonder people, especially the younger generation, use ‘smh’. But do you know what it means and how to use it properly?
What Does SMH Mean?
SMH is an acronym that translates to ‘shaking my head’ or ‘shake my head’.
According to How To Geek, the term seems to have appeared in the urban dictionary in 2004. There are those who believe that it might have been ‘conceived’ around the same time the term ‘facepalm’ came out. Both were then popularized by social media users, and the rest is history.
How do You Properly Use SMH?
The acronym is often used to express disbelief, disappointment, or disagreement with certain information, especially when perceived as foolish or dumb. Since you can’t ‘see’ people’s reactions online, smh is used in situations or discussions where a person would naturally shake their head physically.
For instance: when someone says something dumb like ‘I eat yogurt with a fork,’ you can respond with a laugh emoticon, followed by smh. It would signify how dumb you think the statement is.
The beautiful thing about using it – and many other social media phrases – is that no stringent grammar rules guide them. This means that you can use them anyhow it pleases you, as long as they are in context.
SMH can be applied humorously, or for laughs. Just as you would shake your head physically while having a good laugh. Most times, it’s placed at the beginning of sentences, like – ‘smh, you do not mean that, do you?’
However, you can also use the phrase in the middle of a sentence or even throw it in at the end, depending on your preferences.
Is SMH Disrespectful?
Many have wondered if this internet term can be considered disrespectful. Well, it all depends on the context. On one hand, it’s harmless when used subtly to express disagreement or disapproval. But on the other hand, it can also convey disrespect by way of disgust or irritation.
Younger generations may have no problem with the term. But older folks – or those unfamiliar with internet trends – may mistake smh as disrespectful and offensive. So use caution before typing it (i.e. get a feel for the online environment first).