What does NSFW mean?

The acronym NSFW means Not Safe For Work.

People will often use the NSFW tag when they are sharing sensitive content. For example, it might contain adult material or excessive violence.

Basically, they are saying “do not look at this content in the presence of others.”

NSFW doesn’t just apply to workplaces.

Firstly, the NSFW tag doesn’t just apply to workplaces. In reality, the tag applies to any place or situation where another person could take a quick glance at your screen.

For example, you might be sitting on a crowded bus or in a college library. Or perhaps you are looking at your phone while at a family event.

In these kind of situations, you do want to be caught looking at NSFW content.

Think about how the content might be interpreted by a passerby.

The NSFW tag should accompany any post that could be interpreted as being adult content.

The problem here is that someone who takes a cursory glance at your screen is unlikely to understand the context of the content that you are looking at.

For example, let’s say you’re watching a funny video of a woman falling off a boat. “Hilarious stuff!”, you think to yourself. “I should send this to all of my friends.”

However, the build-up to this funny scene is a bit “sketchy”. It’s a woman in a bikini doing various poses for Instagram. And some of them are a bit risqué.

Unfortunately for you, the person sitting beside you on the subway decides to glance at your phone screen at the exact moment when she is doing one of these poses.

The person didn’t see the title of the link that you clicked on and they have no idea what the video is about. They have no clue that the funny bit is coming.

As a result, they now think that you’re some weird guy who is publicly ogling a half-naked woman on a crowded subway.

Is this unfair? Yes. It is unrealistic? Not at all.

When in doubt, use NSFW.

In conclusion: A NSFW tag can act as a warning to those who are in a setting where the content they are viewing could be taken out of context. It doesn’t matter how innocent the content is. The only thing that matters is what it might look like to those around you.

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