- Afk is an abbreviation for away from keyboard.
- It lets people know that you will not be at your keyboard for a while, or that you will not be online for a period of time.
If you’re chatting online or playing an MMO, afk lets your friends know that you are stepping away from the keyboard.
The meaning of afk
Afk means away from keyboard, a phrase that lets others know that you won’t be at your computer for a while. It’s commonly used with another abbreviation—brb (be right back)—to indicate that you’re taking a short break.
The term afk developed as a bit of chat room etiquette in the 1990s, when IRC was at its peak. It was later adopted by the gaming community, especially in MMOs (massively multiplayer online games).
How to use afk
Afk is an Internet slang word, and as such, it might be best to avoid it in formal conversations. That being said, it’s not uncommon to use it in workplaces that foster a less formal atmosphere, as the phrase is purely informational. You can write afk in uppercase and in lowercase.