When you’re commenting on a blog, tweet, text or email it can be really hard to convey any emotion. Things can often be misread because you don’t have the visual cues that you have in every day conversation. Body language, facial expressions, tone of voice all let the other person know whether you’re being sarcastic, funny, sympathetic etc. I can be quite sarcastic in real life and have to be really careful not to offend anyone when answering. So I completely understand why we need ‘LOL’. Sort of.
I find it quite hard to actually type it. I have a couple of friends who use it in messages so I make myself use it too, I’m trying to acclimatise myself to it, build myself up gently so that before you know it I’ll be lmao with the rest of them. It feels strange and foreign though. Maybe I’m just weird. I also have trouble in real life shortening people’s names, everyone one else seems ok about it but it makes me feel self conscious.
I can manage a smiley face emoticon, and there was great excitement recently when I learnt how to do a poop emoticon on Facebook. I find those really useful (the smileys, not so much the poop once the novelty wore off, if I’m honest), a smiley at the end of something makes it quite clear that you’re just trying to be funny. (Although they can also be used as a passive-aggressive tool, I’ve seen lots at the end of quite nasty sounding ‘I’m not cross, HONEST, it’s fine!’ tweets, then they are the equivalent of a sickly smile through gritted teeth).
Maybe it’s the things that replace actual words that I don’t like, it makes me nervous. Where will it end? I’m someone who writes full sentences in a text, no C U L8r from me. When you get a text from me you have to sit down and read it, appreciating the correct punctuation and paragraphs but it feels like it wont be long before we’re not using actual words any more, just symbols. We’ll meet up in the street and make a series of clicking sounds, drawing sad faces in the air with our stylus fingers.
Maybe I’m just old, or a bit slow on the uptake. Maybe in ten years I’ll write a novel using only emoticons and acronyms and funny squiggles and we’ll sit with kindles instead of hands and roffle at this blog post.