This post has been picked among the Spicy Saturday picks by BlogaddaYou are with a bunch of your craziest friends. Each of you are cracking jokes after jokes and you all are roaring with laughter. Some of them are clutching their stomach, someone is hitting his neighbor hard while laughing and another is on the floor. He is rolling on the floor, laughing.
You are texting a friend of yours. He tells you something barely funny. You reply, “Lol” and then continue the conversation. He tells something very funny. You just smile and type “ROFL”. This could be later substituted with “LMAO” and so on.
The difference between both the conversations is that, the laughter in the first one comes from the heart. While, in the second, the laughter element is just the involuntary use of internet slang/texting language that has barely anything to do with the situation. I said involuntary. Because, initially people put an effort to use ‘lol’ maybe because it is cool or just to blend into the crowd, or because it could be used when you they have nothing to say in response. But with time, they use these acronyms without thinking. It goes something like this:
“Hey! Is that a new shirt?”
“It’s beautiful. Where did you get it?”
“Thanks. Friend gifted. How you been?”
“Busy with studies.”
“Lol! Always studying huh?”
“Er… Until exams.”
I look at all the ‘lol’s and wonder if they really know what it means. Sometimes, when I say something that is ought to be really funny, I weigh the importance of the ‘lol’ they type.
I’m not referring to those acronyms that have certain emotions attached to them. In my opinion, LOL, ROFL, LMAO, TGIF, TY etc kill the emotions behind them. We don’t really roll on the floor and laugh. That happens in very very rare circumstances. By using ROFL for every situation, we are making those rare moments – while we actually roll on the floor and laugh – worthless.
Even LMAO is supposed to be used the way ROFL is used- when we laugh really really hard. But, observe yourself while using them. When you are having a particularly amusing conversation, you only sit and smile, most of the times without your knowledge. It takes a while for you to realise that you are in a public place and that you look like an idiot smiling to yourself. You would have just typed an ‘ROFL’ or ‘LMAO’.
Our tone or voice modulations cannot be understood through text messages. Using acronyms make them worse. Texting the way we speak have always kept the conversation real, at least to an extent. When ‘hehe’, ‘haha’ or ‘hahahha’ was used, I found it more authentic. I can imagine people actually using the first two for remotely funny situations and the next one for really funny jokes. I know they aren’t laughing loudly while typing ‘hahahhaha’. But, it is always better than the redundant and mechanical use of ‘lol’s. Inappropriate use of ‘lol’s is a clear sign that one isn’t paying attention to the text messages.
Apart from the laughter related abbreviations, TY and TGIF are the next two that kills emotions. ‘Thank you’ is meant to show gratitude. If one really means it, why not take the time to thank a person from the heart instead of throwing two letters and running off? It is a different matter if one is in a hurry.
And when it is Friday, I say that with a lot of relief. I really Thank God when Friday approaches.
I’m not entirely anti-internet slang. Some of them do serve their purpose if used correctly. Like, GTG, BRB or TTYL, specially if they are in a hurry. If one says BRB and returns within a reasonable time, it serves the purpose. There isn’t any emotion attached to these.
As I rant about the inappropriate use of internet slang, I am fully aware that I have no right to question your freedom of using them. But, I strongly feel that conversations are meant to connect with people. whenever I receive messages, I really think about the intent. If someone texts me, I take a moment and wonder if they meant it. So, many a times, I have noticed that people use acronyms only out of habit. It becomes mechanical with time. I don’t want people typing hundreds of ‘lol’ with straight faces. I want them to converse with their heart and use ‘lol’ or ‘rofl’ when they really really mean it.
Whenever I come across new acronyms, I fear that with time, people might just forget to use real words and forget their actual meanings.