The students entering college are not millennials. The next generation, Generation Z, has arrived. The oldest in the group are in their early 20s.
Not only have they never known a world without the Internet, some have had smartphones since middle school.
And for this group, memes, animated GIFs and emojis are second nature, says Geoff Nunberg, a linguist who does features on language on NPR's Fresh Air.
"When you're young and you're talking to people with whom you share a lot of experience, a lot of your communication, whether you're talking or texting or sending emojis or whatever, really isn't so much about communication. It's just about connecting with people," says Nunberg, who teaches at the U.C. Berkeley School of Information.
Take the the popular "confused math lady" meme, for example. Youth Radio's Robert Fisher, a high school sophomore, explains that it's used when someone is telling a story that "doesn't add up, like they're getting caught in a lie."