Communicating over the internet (or the internets if you prefer), whether it’s through e-mail, IRC, MUshes, MOOs, MUD’s, MMORPG’s or any other acronym, has always been tricky especially when you’re dealing with a stranger – someone who doesn’t know your personal quirks of speech. We started really reaching out and communicating on a large scale beginning with the first bulletin board. Since the bulk of us were not well trained journalists skilled in carefully crafting our words this led to a lot of miscommunication. I know back in the day I spent countless moments talking to strangers starting sentences with “no, that’s not what I meant.” “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to upset you.” Thankfully someone came up with the idea of the emoticon. Glory be to a little bit of clarity! We now had a tool to better express our intent by adding a little :o) or a :P. I could now say things like: “I hope you die horribly. =P” and people thought I was kidding. (I mean, people KNEW I was kidding.) Still, that wasn’t quite enough, so out came a world of acronyms that we paraded around our words. “I hope you die horribly. lol }:-)” not only said, “I’m kidding”. It also expressed, “isn’t that devilishly funny?” Of course, adding a “jk” would suffice.
But why am I telling YOU this, you already know the history? I’m telling you this, because I have a beef. It’s with the acronym “lol”. It’s a pestilence akin to locusts. I swear for every sentence I read that goes, “…you made me lol – funny stuff”, I get “I’m going to the bathroom now, lol.” “afk, lol.” “I snapped my spine in two and am a paraplegic lol lol lol”. And I am genuinely perplexed, because I feel like I’m missing the joke. I feel like I’m not truly experiencing the joys of these activities properly because I’m more a “meh” kind of girl – “afk, meh” “going to the bathroom, bad magazines, brb, meh”. It’s like a bad designer has come in and decorated every sentence on the internet with a “lol” – like the world is perpetually high on nitrous oxide.
That’s not to say that I don’t throw out the occasional lol, but it’s more a LOL because I’m serious about my lol-ing. When I use the caps it lets you know that you’ve genuinely made me laugh. If you get a lower case lol from me, it’s usually accompanied by an unseen golf clap and likely a yawn.
So, I’m going to have to beg you to please include me in on all the jokes. I’m feeling a bit left out. lol. (oh wait, maybe my ending should be more a: ZOMG ROFLMAO! – lol)
It reaches the pinicle of annoying when after crafting an inteligent rant the only comment is “me to lol”. Days like that make me wonder why I bother.
I can’t decide which is worse – crickets (where you’re left wondering if anyone has even seen your post) or an inane comment (which usually involve my eyes lodging somewhere in the back of my brain). On the one hand, you at least know someone read it, while on the other you wonder if they “got” it.>>Anna, you’re on notice. 😛
Great post! lol!>>– sorry, it had to be done.